What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure used to remove cataracts from a person’s eyes. This involves totally replacing the person's lens with a synthetic one. The surgery generally uses tiny incisions, and it is performed in a few different ways, depending on the severity of the cataracts. Generally speaking, cataract surgery is considered to have a good rate of success and relatively few complications. Patients are normally able to leave the hospital immediateley after the surgery.

When performing cataract surgery, doctors have a couple of different procedures available to them. One procedure involves using sound waves to dismantle the person’s lens. This is generally favored because it does less damage to the eye and, therefore, requires slightly less recovery time with a lower risk of various complications. Sometimes a more old-fashioned version of the surgery is used with a bigger cut into the eye, and more primitive tools are used to take apart the lens. In most cases, the second surgery is used as an emergency procedure in cases where the first surgery fails to do the job.


A full recovery from cataract surgery can potentially take up to two months, but people can usually get back to relative normality sooner. During the immediate aftermath of the surgery, doctors normally require patients to wear some kind of protection over their eyes. This serves to keep the eye from getting infected and helps promote faster healing. Right after surgery, people also usually have noticeably impaired vision with blurriness and other problems which normally improve gradually.

In some cases, there are serious complications caused by cataract surgery. For example, sometimes people can develop glaucoma after having a cataract surgery. There are also claims of retinal detachment following the surgery, but some doctors dispute this outcome, suggesting that the incidence of retinal detachment among people with cataract surgery is not statistically significant compared to normal expectations.

For most people, cataract surgery improves their condition. Usually people are still required to wear some kind of eyeglasses after, mostly because the replacement lenses are often unable to fully compensate. There are many different kinds of artificial lenses used, and some types have the potential to totally get rid of the need for glasses. There is a significant difference in price, however, so these lenses aren’t always an option.

There is some research into the concept of laser surgery for cataracts. Experts suggest that it could eventually become the primary method of performing the surgery. Laser surgery could have the potential to greatly improve recovery time.



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