What is cataract surgery and its purposes?
Cataracts are a world leading eye affliction that is known to lead to blindness which besets the elderly and sometimes children. When medications cannot suffice, cataract surgery is the best treatment usually resorted to by doctors as a last alternative. The possible devastating consequence of blindness can be arrested if one knows how to prevent and treat it. Hence, basic knowledge of what is cataract surgery is essential.
“Cataract in human eye”
by Rakesh Ahuja, MD – Own work.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons.
Before probing into the question of “What is cataract surgery?” it is important to understand the nature of cataract. Generally, cataract which is a vision-disabling disease which causes cloudy vision among patients. The function of the lens is to focus the incoming light towards the light receptors, the rods and cones, found at the retina of the eyes. Despite the fact that aging predisposes older folks to cataract, some cases in children are not remote as caused by genetics. Aside from aging, trauma to the eyes like inflammation and eye surgeries may similarly cause cataract.
So what is cataract surgery capable of accomplishing?
The main goal of the surgery is to remove the cataract from the lens and there are several types of procedures that can be made.
Phacoemulsification is the most widely used cataract surgery today. This procedure uses ultrasonic energy (U/S) to emulsify the cataract lens. Phacoemulsification entails the insertion of a thin probe that produces ultrasonic vibrations and dissolving of the cataract through making a small incision on the lens near the cornea.
Extracapsular Cataract Surgery is intended for those who have more advanced cases of cataract formation. The whole lens is removed, so a larger incision is needed. An artificial lens is sutured in the place of the lens with the cataract after it is extracted. Visual acquisition and recovery is slower with this type of surgery.
Intracapsular Cataract Surgery is only performed with very serious cataract formation. It requires an even larger incision because the entire capsule along with the lens is removed. After removal, an intraocular lens is placed and sutured.