Cataracts significantly reduce vision due to the lens losing its transparency as a result of the ageing process. The treatment for cataracts is a surgical procedure. The operation consists of extracting the lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant which allows patients to see again. The lens can be designed for good vision at both near and far distances.
With the latest technique (phacoemulsification) the extraction of the lens is carried out by making a small incision of about 3mm, the lens is then broken up using ultrasound waves and removed.
Next, an artificial lens is inserted; the lens is folded but opens up once it has been correctly positioned, just behind the pupil in the space the original lens occupied. The strength of the implanted lens is such that it not only replaces the lens that has been removed, but also corrects any hyperopia or myopia that the patient may have had before. It will, therefore, not be necessary for the patient to wear glasses for distance vision after the operation. Because the incision is so small, in the great majority of cases stitches are not necessary.
This operation is performed with a local anesthesia as an outpatient intervention, in other words the patient can return home once the operation is over.