Small Incision, Sutureless Phacoemulsification

Not long ago, cataract surgery required a hospital stay and was usually postponed as long as possible. Today, the procedure is performed on an out-patient basis and takes only a few minutes. Patients are free to return home to rest in comfort and avoid the inconvenience and expense of a hospital stay. In most cases, daily activities such as driving and reading can be resumed almost immediately.

During the surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye. In most cases, the focusing power of the natural lens is restored by replacing it with a permanent intraocular lens implant.

Cataract surgery is considered one of the most popular and highly successful procedures, with improved vision occurring in over 90 percent of cases. In fact, a study by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery recently reported that more than 98 percent of cataract patients had their vision successfully improved following surgery. Many patients report vision that is even better than before they developed cataracts. Results are permanent; once removed, cataracts will not reoccur.


Cataract surgery is for those

Who have reduced vision due to cataracts, when the reduced vision is causing an inability to perform one’s activities of daily living, such as reading, driving, using a computer, or working.

What to expect on surgery day

Before your operation, you will be instructed to take some antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for three days. Our surgeons perform their surgery at the Peninsula Eye Surgery Center in Mountain View. At the surgery center, a number of eye drops will be placed in your eye and intravenous medications may be administered to help you relax. The eye drops anesthetize your eye and dilate your pupil. Once in the surgery suite, you will lie down on a comfortable bed, a microscope will be positioned over your eye and you will be asked to look up into the light of the microscope. The actual surgery usually takes less than 20 minutes. The surgeon will stabilize your eye with a device to keep your eyelids open. You will feel no pain, only slight pressure on your eye. All you have to do is to relax and hold still.

Once the surgery is complete, you will be taken to the recovery room, where your vital signs will be monitored briefly. When you are able to get up and about, you will be allowed to go home in the company of a family member or friend. Once at home, you should rest for the remainder of the day and avoid any strenuous activities. You should begin using your antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops when you get home from the surgery center.

Typically you will be able to return to normal activities within several days after implantation with some limitations. Your eye might be sensitive to touch and bright light, and your vision might be blurred for a few days. It is important that you avoid heavy lifting or straining that would increase the pressure in your eye for several days after surgery. You should also avoid rubbing or pushing on your eye. Refrain from using eye makeup, lid liner and mascara for several weeks after implantation. Consult your doctor for recommendations on specific activities.

Your doctor will advise you as to how often your eyes need to be checked. Typically, the doctor will see you one day after surgery, after 2 to 4 weeks, and again around 3 to 6 months after surgery. Thereafter, an annual exam is usually sufficient unless you have a specific problem.

Realistic expectations

Cataract surgery will improve vision in almost all cases; however, the presence of other diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma might limit the ultimate visual acuity after surgery, so not all patients will necessarily see “20/20”. Although most patients see very well within a day or two of surgery, in some cases, it might take up to a few weeks for the vision to clear up. This is usually because of excess fluid in the cornea or macula, which eventually goes away with the proper treatment. As with all kinds of surgery, cataract surgery has some rare potential complications; be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor before surgery.