Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery in Northville, MI

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy and sometimes surgery is performed to remove the lens altogether.

The lens in the eye is to refract the rays that come from light, this helps to see better. A normal lens will be clear, whereas an eye with a cataract will make the lens cloudy and makes seeing very difficult if not impossible.

When a person has a cataract their vision will be similar to looking through a window when it is covered with fog. A cataract makes objects appear fuzzy, blurry, and not so colorful.

An ophthalmologist will suggest having a cataract taken out if it is getting in the way of normal activities and the only way to take the cataract out is with surgery.

Cataract surgery consist of removing the real lens that is cloudy, making it unable to see and replacing it with an artificial lens that is clear and gives the ability to see again, it’s as simple as that!

The artificial lens is referred to as an intraocular lens (IOL). Before having surgery the ophthalmologist will talk about these things.


Before the surgery:

Before surgery the eye will be measured to get the correct focusing power for the IOL.

The ophthalmologist will need to know all of the medications being taking for safety and health reasons. Also, the Eye M.D. may even rule out taking certain medications before the surgery.

Several days before the surgery a prescription eye drop medication will be prescribed and it should be used starting a few days before the surgery.

Surgery Day

It is possible that the ophthalmologist ask that nothing be eaten for a period of at least 6 hours before the surgery.

The surgery to remove a cataract can be performed in either an outpatient clinic or a hospital.

This is how it will go:

  • There will be eye drops used to numb the eye (and may be given medicine that will help with being able to relax).

Note: The surgery is usually performed while the patient is awake. Being able to see some light and movement during the surgery is possible, and also normal. However, it isn’t set up so that any one has the ability to see what is being done during surgery.

  • There will be very small incisions (tiny cuts) close to the edge of the cornea (the clear area covering the front of the eye).These incisions are where the doctor will go in to get to the lens.
  • Then, with very tiny instruments the doctor will break apart the lens that has the cataract and take it out. The new lens will be placed in the eye where the lens with the cataract was taken from.
  • There will be no stitches involved. The incisions that was made are referred to as “self sealing” and they will eventually close and heal with time.
  • Although, there will be a protected shield placed over the eye afterwords until the healing process is complete.
  • Now it is time for the recovery room, about 15-30 minutes, and then it’s time to go home.

In the days and weeks following surgery:

  • Eye drops will be used after surgery. Follow the doctors instructions regarding the eye drops.
  • To prevent getting an infection, tap water should not be used for washing the face.
  • Do not exert force on the face or bend forward.
  • Definitely no rubbing or pressing on the eye. The ophthalmologist may suggest wearing sunglasses or a shield for protection.
  • A protected shield for the eye should be wore while sleeping.
  • The ophthalmologist will talk about how long it takes for the healing process and when normal activities can be resumed.

What risks are involved in cataract surgery?

As with any surgery cataract surgery carries its risks and problems and/or complications.

Below is a list of some of them:

  • Pain that cannot be controlled with medicines bought over the counter.
  • The retina gets detached (it gets lifted up at the back of the eye).
  • Another area of the eye gets damaged.
  • The eye has some bleeding.
  • The retina swells up (this is a layer of nerves at the back of the eye).
  • Infection setting in within the eye.
  • The dislocation of the IOL implant can occur and it moves from its correct position.

It is not unusual for the eye to become blurry and cloudy in the future as far away as months and even years after surgery. Should this happen it’s possible that a laser procedure is needed. This is referred to as a posterior capsulotomy and the procedure will help to get back the clear vision.
The ophthalmologist will discuss the risks as well as the benefits of cataract surgery.

In Conclusion

Cataract surgery is to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens referred to as a intraocular lens (IOL) giving a person back their clear vision.