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Cataract surgery - series

Normal anatomy:
Normal anatomy

The lens of an eye is normally clear. A cataract is when the lens becomes cloudy as you get older.



Indications:
Indications

Surgery is usually recommended for people who have vision problems or other major problems caused by the cataract.



Procedure, part 1:
Procedure, part 1

Two procedures are used to treat cataracts. In the manual extraction procedure, a small incision is made at the edge of the outer lining of the eye (cornea). The lens is then removed and replaced with an artificial lens.



Procedure, part 2:
Procedure, part 2

Another procedure is called phacoemulsification. This involves inserting a needle through a small incision on the eye. The end of the needle produces sound waves. The sound waves break up the lens, which is then sucked out through the needle. This procedure requires a smaller incision than the manual extraction procedure.



Aftercare:
Aftercare

Cataract surgery usually works very well. The operation has few risks, the pain and recovery period are short, and your sight is usually greatly improved. Ninety-five percent or more of all cataract surgeries result in improved vision.




Review Date: 9/16/2011
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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