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Cataract Small Incision PreOp® Patient Education

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Published on Feb 2, 2011

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Your doctor has recommended that you undergo lens replacement surgery to treat a cataract. But what does that actually mean?

The human eye is constructed like a camera - with a clear lens in the front. The lens is located just behind the iris. It is contained in an elastic capsule. This capsule will serve as the housing for the new lens. All light that enters the eye has to pass through this lens.

As we age, this lens can become cloudy and gradually lose its ability to focus properly. This is called a cataract.If left untreated, a cataract can grow steadily worse - interfering more and more with your vision.
Generally, replacing a cataract with an artificial lens is a simple procedure.

It usually involves a single incision in the white of the eye. Through this single opening the cataract is removed and the artificial lens is inserted.

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On the day of your operation, you will be asked to put on a surgical gown.
You may receive a sedative by mouth and
an intravenous line may be put in.
And you'll given eye drops to dilate, or open, the pupil.
You will then be transferred to the operating table.
To begin, the surgeon will use a special instrument to gently hold the eyelids apart.
Then the surgeon will apply an antiseptic solution to the skin around the eye. ..
before injecting a local anesthetic.
While the anesthetic is taking effect, the surgeon will position a microscope in front of the eye.
By now, the pupil will be fully open, or dilated.
When the operative field is numb, the surgeon will use the microscope to help make a very small incision just 3 millimeters above the iris. The lens is located just behind the iris contained in the elastic capsule.
Next the surgeon will open the top of the capsule and remove the lens. Most likely, your doctor will use a small probe which vibrates at a high frequency.
The probes vibrations break the old lens into microscopic pieces ...
which can then be drawn out with gentle suction.
Through the small incision, the surgeon will then insert the new lens.
The lens is actually rolled up inside a special injector, designed to fit through the small incision made above the iris.
With the tip of the injector inside the eye, the surgeon slowly injects the new lens where it unfolds into position.
Because of the small size of the incision, often your surgeon will complete surgery without putting in any stitches.
Vision will gradually improve during normal healing over a period of 5 to 8 weeks.


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