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About cataracts surgery

1. What is a cataract and how does it form? Who can get cataracts?

A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside the eye that happens naturally over time. At first, you may not notice that you have cataracts. But over time, it can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colourful. You may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities.

Cataracts occur most often in people over 45 years of age and even more in people over 65. Most cataracts are age-related — they happen because of normal changes in your eyes as you get older. But you can get cataracts for other reasons — for example, after an eye injury or after surgery for another eye problems, like glaucoma.

No matter what type of cataract you have, the treatment is always surgery.

2. What is an intraocular lens? How long do they last?

An intraocular lens (or IOL) is a tiny, artificial lens for the eye. It replaces the eye’s natural lens to restore both near and distant vision. The most common use for IOLs is in cataract surgery, to replace the diseased lens.

IOLs come in different focusing powers, just like prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist will measure the length of your eye and the curve of your cornea. These measurements are used to set your IOLs focusing power. And depending on the condition & requirement, a particular type of lens is prescribed – between monofocal, Trifocal or multifocal, Extended depth of focus (EDOF) and toric lenses.

Unlike the natural lenses of the eye, IOLs do not break down and never need to be replaced. To reap these long-lasting benefits, patients should follow any aftercare instructions as given by their doctor following surgery.

3. Can the intraocular lens be removed and replaced?

Once cataract surgery is performed, it cannot be reversed. This is because the original cloudy lens cannot be put back in once it is removed. So, can the intraocular lens be removed and replaced? Our answer is yes. If there is an issue with your IOL, it can be replaced with another one. This usually occurs when the lens does not provide adequate vision correction or causes problems like double vision. However, patients should keep in mind that the need for revision is rare. The experienced physicians at OAV can create a successful treatment plan based on your needs.


1. Can you explain me the procedure of a cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed using the most advanced methods available. The procedure is painless and involves no stitches, patches, or injections. This suture-less, self-sealing cataract removal method was developed by Dr. Paul Ernest. During the cataract removal surgery, ultrasound is used to break up the cloudy eye lens and the lens pieces are removed. A new intraocular lens is implanted using a tiny, self-sealing incision that heals very quickly.

Because no blood vessels are cut, there is no bleeding. There are no stitches to remove and only a local or topical anaesthesia is used. Patients heal very quickly and resume normal activities the next day.

2. How long does cataract removal take?

Cataract removal is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed within 10 to 20 minutes.

3. How long does it take to recover from cataract removal?

Recovery times depend on the person and the case, but most people rest for a few hours after surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you wear a protective shield over your eye for several days.

4. Can I drive after cataract removal?

It’s recommended that you don’t drive for up to 24 hours after your cataract surgery, so you’ll need to ask a friend or relative to drive you home.

5. Can I exercise after cataract removal?

In general, you should avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks after cataract surgery. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about certain activities.

6. How long do cataract replacement lenses last?

IOLs are very durable and usually last a lifetime. The lens you choose will make a big difference to your vision after correction. By investing in your vision, you’re investing in your future.

Getting ready

1. How can I prepare for cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to skip breakfast and avoid drinking liquids, depending on the time of your surgery. Also, do not wear eye makeup, lotion, cologne, perfume, hairspray or any other hair products on the day of surgery. You will need to bring a driver with you that will stay for the entire time.

Please expect to spend several hours at the surgery centre the day of your surgery. Upon arrival at the facility, you will be given eye drops to dilate your pupils and perhaps a sedative to help you relax. A local or topical anaesthetic will make the operation painless. After your procedure you will spend some time in recovery, your vision will be checked and then you will be released to go home.

2. Should I stop taking other medications prior to cataract surgery?

To minimize the risk of blood loss during your surgery, you must avoid or stop taking medications that contain aspirin, that are anti-inflammatory medications, or contain blood thinning agents. These should be discontinued 7-10 days prior to your surgery. This includes Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements as they too may contain blood thinning components. If you are taking any blood thinners or insulin, notify your surgeon at the time of your visit; you may need to be evaluated by the prescribing physician prior to your procedure.

Your options

1. How many types of cataract surgery options do I have?

There are two types of cataract surgery – Phacoemulsification or Phaco and Extracapsular surgery.

Also known as ‘Phaco’, it is the most common technique used for cataract removal nowadays. Usually, it takes no more than half an hour to remove cataract through phacoemulsification, and that too, requiring only minimal sedation. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea and a tiny probe is inserted into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. Most cataract surgery today is done by phacoemulsification, also called “small incision cataract surgery”.

On the other hand, extracapsular is the cataract procedure used in case of highly advanced cataracts, which is too dense for phacoemulsification (the process of breaking down or dissolving the cataract into tiny fragments) or when phacoemulsification is not possible for various other reasons. A slightly larger incision is required for this cataract removing technique, so that the cataract can be removed in one piece instead of being fragmented within the eye. Just like phacoemulsification, an artificial lens (IOL) is placed inside the same capsular bag.

2. Which intra-ocular lens is right for me? Which is the right lens for me?

Premium IOLs are of mainly three broad categories – monofocal lenses, multifocal lenses and toric lenses.

Monofocal lenses, unlike the natural lens of the eye, can only restore vision for one distance, that is for distance, or for near. Multifocal IOLs are lenses which offer an acceptable restoration of vision for both near and distance. While choosing an IOL, it is important to remember that multifocal lenses provide you freedom from glasses for both near and distance, and can be customized to your active lifestyle.

Monofocal and Multifocal Lenses can only correct the spherical component of the eye leaving behind the cylinder power which has to be later corrected by additional prescription glasses. Toric Lenses can correct both spherical and cylinder components of the eye. Toric lenses are recommended if you have a high pre-existing cylinder or astigmatism in your eye.

3. What should I consider when choosing an intraocular lens?

If you’re about to get cataract surgery, congratulations! Having your cataracts removed can feel like having a whole new view of the world. But before having cataract surgery, you have to decide what kind of artificial lens you want.

And to help you with that, here are 4 tips that you can follow before choosing an IOL:

  • – Determine how much you want to spend
  • – Decide if you want to rely on reading glasses
  • – If you have Astigmatism, consider a Toric IOL
  • – Consider the lifestyle you want after cataract surgery

If you’re still unsure about which lenses to choose, it may help to keep a note of everything you do during the day, including the number of times you need to change your glasses. This should give you an idea of the activities that are problematic for you, so when you meet with your consultant, you’ll have lots of useful information to help guide your decision.

Whichever lens you choose, cataract eye surgery combined with lens replacement can be life changing. The operation is quick and painless. And the results are almost immediate.

4. Can you talk to me about advanced technology lenses like PanOptix® and Vivity®? What makes it different?

Definitely! Alcon PanOptix® and Vivity Lenses improve vision at all distances. Both of these IOLs are designed to provide clear vision at near, intermediate and far distances.

Alcon PanOptix® is a next-generation intraocular lens (IOL) that reduces the need for glasses after cataract surgery and provides clear vision at all distances. It improves vision at near, intermediate and far distances. Since it corrects vision of three distances, it is also called a ‘trifocal lens’.

When it comes to AcrySof® IQ Vivity, it’s the first and only non-diffractive extended depth-of-focus intraocular lens in the U.S. It has Alcon’s proprietary non-diffractive X-WAVE™ technology, which stretches and shifts light without splitting it. Vivity delivers monofocal vision correction, i.e., distance (far) with excellent intermediate (at arm’s length) and functional near vision (up close).