Cataract surgery

The aim of cataract surgery is to remove the cloudy natural lens on the iris. After the removal process, the natural lens is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens implant to restore power in most cases. The decision of having cataract surgery depends on how well a person can see during daily activities. One will be able to watch television, be in front of computer and drive several hours even after developing cataracts.

A person who has cataract undergoes visual problems such as ghost images and declining visual clarity, which cannot be solved with contact lens or glasses. Some may also experience color fade. If one feels that his functional vision has declined significantly and he cannot carry on his regular activities with ease, then he might go for cataract surgery.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is carried out in an outpatient basis. The patient will be asked to avoid breakfast and drinking fluids, depending on the time of the surgery. Eye makeup should also be avoided during the surgery day. Once the patient arrived at the operation theatre, he will be given eye drops to dilate his pupils and sometimes sedative to make him relax. To make the operation painless, local or tropical anesthetic is often used.

A detailed cleaning will take place in the skin near the eye and the eye and head will be covered with sterile coverings. One incision will be made into the eye using the help of an operating microscope. Then the surgeon will remove the cloudy lens. The same operation can also be performed using an ultrasonic driven instrument that breaks up the cataract sonically as it is taken out from the eye. Another surgical method includes the breaking of the cloudy lens mechanically into small pieces and removing them from the eye through a small incision with a help of special instruments.

Then the surgeon will replace the natural lens that was removed with a plastic or silicon IOL inside the eye. Although most of the incisions are self sealing, some incisions may need to be sutured occasionally. If stitches are used, they hardly need to be removed.

Cataract Surgery Recovery
A protective shield is placed over the eye once the surgery is over. After a short time staying in the recovery area, the patient can return home, but only with the help of someone else driving for him. During the next few weeks he need to take eye drops several times a day as prescribed by the surgeon. He will also have to be careful while sleeping, and it is recommended that he should use eye protective shield for a week or so. To protect the eye from sun’s bright light, he will be provided with sun shades.

The things that should be avoided during the first week of the operation are:

  • Heavy lifting and strenuous activity (anything over 25lbs should be totally avoided)
  • Activities such as exercise and bending which creates stress on the eye while it is healing.
  • Avoid water splashing on the eye, as this might create infection on the eye. The eye should be closed when taking a shower or bath. Swimming and hot tubs is strictly prohibited for two weeks.
  • The eye should be kept dust and germ free to avoid any infection, and any activity such as changing cat litter box which can promote the infection should be avoided.

Though the above instructions are similar among most of the surgeons, each surgeon has different instructions depending upon the recovery of the patient. The patient should try to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon in order to recover fast.

Last updated on Jun 28th, 2010 and filed under Vision Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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