Cataract Extraction

Cataract Extraction | All About Cataracts

When the eye lens gets clouded, it blocks vision - a condition called a cataract. The surgery that removes this clouded lens to improve sight is known as cataract extraction. Typically, an artificial lens (IOL) is placed in the eye during this procedure.

When the eye lens gets clouded, it blocks vision - a condition called a cataract. The surgery that removes this clouded lens to improve sight is known as cataract extraction. Typically, an artificial lens (IOL) is placed in the eye during this procedure.

How is it done?

You don't have to stay overnight in a hospital to have cataract removal - it's an outpatient procedure. An ophthalmologist carries out this surgery. He's a specialist in diseases affecting eye and eye surgery.

For this treatment, adults are not sedated. A local anesthetic in the form of an eye drop or a shot is administered to stop the pain. Relaxing medication is also given. A general anesthetic is typically given to children. This makes them unconscious - they sleep throughout the surgery and don't feel any pain.

During cataract removal surgery in London, the specialist will make a small cut in the eye, and use a fine microscope to view the eye.

Any of the following methods are employed to take out the clouded lens depending on the cataract type:

  • Phacoemulsification. Here a tool that generates sound waves is used by the doctor to crack the cataract into small pieces which are then removed via suction. The incision done here is very small.
  • Extracapsular extraction. The specialist will make a large incision and take out the cataract without breaking it, with a small device.
  • Laser surgery. A laser-powered machine is used to incise the eye and soften the cataract. The remaining operation is performed like phacoemulsification. Since laser rather than a scalpel is used, this method may have more accuracy and ensure a quick recovery.

When the cataract has been taken out, an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL) is typically installed in the eye to bring back the eye's focusing power. It aids the enhancement of sight.

Stitches may be used to close up the incision, but have to be removed later on. Typically, a suture-less technique that is self-healing is used.

The procedure may take less than 30 minutes. In most cases, only one eye is done. But should both eyes be affected by cataract, the specialist may recommend doing one eye first and after 1 to 2 weeks, get the other eye operated.

Why have cataract surgery?

A healthy eye usually has a clear lens. When a cataract sets in, the lens gets cloudy, stopping light from filtering into the eye. You can't have a clear vision without sufficient light.

A cataract doesn't come with pain, and older adults most likely experience it. Occasionally, children are given birth with a cataract.

When your sight is poor due to cataract, a surgery to remove it is usually done. No permanent damage is caused by a cataract which is why both you and your doctor can plan when to have surgery.

Are there risks of the surgery?

Although it is very rare, there are times when the whole lens cannot be extracted. Should this be the case, a later date will be scheduled to take out all the pieces of lens, after which your vision will get better.

As for complications, they rarely happen, and if they do, it could be infection and bleeding that can cause long-term sight issues.

What happens before cataract extraction?

Before cataract-removal surgery in London, the doctor will perform a full eye exam and test.

The specialist will use an ultrasound or laser scanner to measure your eye. With these tests, the right IOL can be determined. The usual practice is that your doctor will select an IOL that will improve your vision without the need for contact lens or glasses post-surgery.

Some IOLs enable you to see far and near objects, however, not everyone is eligible for it.

Find out from your doctor which is right for your case. Try to understand the condition of your sight post-implantation of the IOL, and ask questions to know your expectations of the surgery.

Your doctor pre-surgery may recommend eye drops. Use it according to the given instructions.

What happens after cataract extraction?

After the operation, your specialist may give you the following before you get home:

  • A patch to cover the treated eye until your follow-up check
  • Eyedrops to keep infection at bay, treat inflammation, and speed up recovery

You won't be able to drive yourself home post-surgery; someone has to drive you home.

A follow-up appointment with your specialist is usually scheduled for the day after the surgery. Should your incision not be closed up with stitches, you need to book an appointment to take them out.

The following tips will help you get better post cataract removal:

  • After removing the patch, make sure you wear dark sunglasses when you're in the open.
  • Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying eye drops and touching your eye. Please keep your eye away from soap and water for the first few days while taking a shower or bathing.
  • Do not indulge in strenuous activities as you get better. Consult your doctor for advice on when to start participating in rigorous activities, driving, or having sex.

You may need 2 weeks to recover. Should you have any need for a new pair of glasses or contact lenses, you can have them during this time. Do not fail always to see your doctor for follow-up exams.


Many persons are observed to have improved vision and recover fast after surgery to remove a cataract.

Should a person be experiencing other eye issues such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or others, the procedure may not be so easy, and the result of the treatment may be poor.

Would you like to have a cataract removal surgery in London? You can schedule an appointment with our professional doctor at Optimal Vision.

At our clinic, we take very good care of patients having eye problems. Contact us soon, and let's help your vision get better.

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