Micro-incision Cataract Surgery
What is cataract?
A cataract is one of the most common eye conditions which causes blurry vision as a result of clouding of the natural lens in the eye. The human lens is located behind the iris (the coloured portion of the eye). When a cataract occurs, the lens becomes cloudy and is seen as a white cloudy material in the centre of the iris.
Once a cataract develops it cannot be cured by eye drops or medication. Surgery is the only treatment for cataract, which is recommended based on the severity of the disease and the impact on the daily activities of the patient. Patients usually make the decision to have surgery when the symptoms negatively impact their lifestyle.
What is Micro-incision Cataract Surgery?
Nowadays, cataract surgery is performed at Day Surgery Centre where the patient can go home the same day. Currently, the standard cataract surgical technique is Micro-incision Cataract Surgery. It involves:
- The area around your eye will be numbed by local or topical anaesthesia depending on the doctor’s decision and patient’s comfort
- Your surgeon will create a very small entry wound (around 2.0 to 2.4 mm) into the eye in order to gain access to the cataract
- Next your surgeon will use an ultrasound probe to break the cataract into small pieces (Phacoemulsification) and then remove them with suction from the probe.
- A clear, foldable acrylic lens will be inserted through the entry wound into the same pocket (lens capsule) as the natural lens
The incision heals on its own and does not require any stitches. This surgery usually takes less than 20 minutes.
The advantages of Micro-incision Cataract Surgery are:
- Stable and self-sealing wound
- Faster recovery time
- No distortion to the normal curvature of the cornea (Astigmatism)
Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Laser technology has evolved in cataract surgery. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery has slowly been developed, which involves accurately focusing a high-speed laser beam on the corneal tissue to incise it and remove the cataract. Your surgeon can perform various parts of the procedure with this laser technique including:
- Making corneal incisions
- Circular symmetrical opening in the lens capsule
- Softening and dividing the cataract into fragments
Advantages of this laser technology include:
- Accurate intraocular lens positioning
- Precise corneal incisions
- Reduced ultrasound energy
- Gentle removal of the softened cataract through phacoemulsification
It can also correct a type of refractive error called astigmatism during cataract surgery.
What will I experience after cataract surgery?
You will leave the Day Surgery Centre with an eye pad & shield on. Please remember to be careful not to bump into anything whilst wearing a pad & extra careful going up or down stairs. Please leave the pad on your eye until the next day of your surgery. Your ophthalmologist will see you on the following day and remove your eye pad. A follow-up visit is scheduled to monitor healing and to check for any complications from surgery.
Following surgery, your ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation. Please bring your eye drops with you for your Day 1 post op visit.
Please remember to wash your hands before instilling drops. Start instilling the drops as per your post-op instruction sheet (usually 4 times a day). Do not stop taking glaucoma drops if you normally use them.
DO NOT RUB YOUR EYE and please remember to keep makeup or skin care products well away from your eye.
Do not wash your hair for one week after surgery.
Do not to lift anything heavy, no bending below the waist, or driving until advised.
No vigorous exercise, swimming or Yoga for a month but you can go for a gentle walk.
Please contact your ophthalmologist immediately if you experience increased pain or redness in your operated eye or if there is a sudden change in your vision.