When the clouded lens of the eye is removed during cataract surgery, a replacement for the human lens is needed to restore focus to the eye. This implant is called an intraocular
lens (IOL). The first foldable intraocular lenses were implanted in 1984, These lenses revolutionized cataract surgery because they could be folded and injected into the eye through a tiny incision. At the time of surgery, your doctor will determine which intraocular lens is best suited for you.
The lens is the primary focusing mechanism of the eye. As we age, this crystal clear lens becomes cloudy and yellow and loses its elasticity, or ability to change focus. When this occurs, it is called a cataract. Cataracts should be removed when they begin to affect your daily lifestyle. When glare and blur interfere with driving, or you give up your favorite hobby, it is time to consider having surgery.
anesthesia is administered as the name implies, onto the surface
of the eye, using drops. It offers many benefits to patients,
but perhaps none is so evident as the elimination of needle-block
anesthesia, which can be associated with swelling, bruising, discomfort,
and potential trauma to the eye. With topical anesthesia, the
patient is comfortable but still maintains the ability to move
their eye and eyelids, so no patch is necessary allowing a person
to begin using their new vision immediately after surgery.
In clear corneal cataract surgery, a tiny incision
is made into the perimeter of the cornea. This incision
provides a tunnel through which the cataract is removed and the intraocular lens is
implanted. It is the architecture of this incision that makes it self sealing, thus requiring no stitches.
The most modern method of removing a cataract
is through the use of phacoemulsification. The phacoemulsifier is an ultrasonic probe which vibrates
40,000 times per second. It breaks up a cataract into tiny microscopic pieces which are emulsified and
gently aspirated out of the eye. This method of cataract removal is considered the least traumatic
to the eye, and requires the smallest incision.
A specially designed injector, much like a syringe,
is used to implant the foldable intraocular lens. The injector is inserted through the clear corneal incision,
over the iris, and into the center of the pupil. There, the lens is slowly ejected where it expands and
unfolds into position.
*Individual results may vary. Persons over the age of forty are more likely to require glasses for reading. Sunglasses may be necessary when out of doors. As with all surgical procedures, there is no assurance or guarantee as to the outcome of the procedure.
is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for
medical advice from a physician. Use of this site constitutes an agreement
with the user that releases Eye Laser Consulting, Eye Laser Center and Robert
M. Kershner, MD, FACS from any and all liability.
Robert M. Kershner, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S. Boston, Massachusetts, USA