Removal of A Cataract

How is a Cataract Removed?

There are three methods of cataract removal / extraction:

1. Phacoemulcification, or phaco. A tiny probe is inserted through a very small incision on the side of the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye). This instrument has a needle-like tip, which vibrates at an extremely high rate of speed caused by high frequency sound waves. The ultrasonic vibration breaks the cataract into fine pieces, which are suctioned out of the eye through the needle. After all the cataract material is removed, the back half of the lens or capsule is left behind and the artificial lens is placed inside. Since this surgery is done with a very small incision, the wound closes on its’ own and no stitches are required. This method is also called “no stitch” cataract surgery. This method is Dr. Tayfour’s choice of cataract surgery.

cataract surgery diagram

2. Extracapsular surgery. A slightly longer incision is made on the side of the cornea and the center of the lens, or cataract, is removed leaving behind the back half of the lens or capsule. Phacoemulcification is extracapsular surgery done with a smaller inicision.

3. Intracapsular surgery. Prior to the introduction to modern extracapsular cataract extraction, intracapsular cataract extraction was the preferred surgical method. The surgeon removes the entire lens, including the capsule.