Cataract Surgery Today is Safe and Painless
While successful cataract surgery has been with us as far back as 1753, patients who underwent the surgery back then faced many risks. The need to remove the cataract in one piece required a large incision to be made in the eye, and this meant lengthy recovery times and a far greater risk of infection to the eye.
While surgery is still the only way to treat this affliction, technological advancements have meant that the surgery can be performed today in as little as 15 minutes. And the Intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) used as replacement lenses can provide clearer and sharper vision than the patient had before they were affected by the loss of vision. With the multifocal lens technology in use today, the patient may not even need glasses after the surgery.
The procedure is safe and painless. Every year in Malaysia alone, 60,000 successful cataract surgeries are performed.
Two Types of Surgery
There are two types of surgery used to treat cataracts. The older extracapsular method involves making a large incision in the patient’s eye and removing the cloudy material in one piece. Suturing is required to close the incision, and this entails a longer recovery period. The risk of complications is greater as well with this older method.
The newer technique is called Phacoemulsification, or ‘Phaco’. In this method, a small incision of about 2 to 2.5 millimetres is made in the eye. An instrument using high-frequency ultrasound energy is then used to break down the cataract. Once it’s been broken down, it’s removed by suction through the small incision.
The procedure is completely painless, doesn’t require an anaesthetic injection or any suturing. This means it can heal faster, and the patient can typically see clearly after only one day of recovery.
Four Choices in IOL Technology
The surgeon will need to replace the lens with the cataract with a replacement. This is where technology has again made life easier for the patient. The doctors have four options in the types of technology they can use in matching the lens to the patient’s eyesight.
Aspheric Technology is used to fine-tune the lens and surface it according to the patient’s vision. It adjusts the way light rays hit the IOL and focuses them to provide clearer and sharper vision. Often the patient sees much better than they did before they had cataracts.
Multifocal Technology can focus light from both closeup and at a distance. This means that up to 90% of the patients with multifocal IOLs can stop wearing glasses.
Toric Technology can correct any pre-existing astigmatism in patients. It can relieve them of the need to wear corrective lenses after the procedure.
Laser Interferometry Biometry Technology is a technology that allows doctors to enhance the precision of the lens power calculation. Using this technology, they can be assured that only the proper lens is implanted in the eye.
Make an appointment to visit the International Specialist Lens Centre and learn more about the advances in technology that make modern cataract treatment so much faster and easier for patients.