Surgery is the only treatment for cataracts and is recommended based on the severity of the disease and the impact it has on the daily activities of the patient. It is performed one eye at a time with a few weeks gap in between the two operations. The different types of cataract surgery are performed on an outpatient basis, under local anaesthesia.
Phacoemulsification uses ultrasound vibrations to break up the eye’s damaged lens. Your surgeon will make a small incision of about 3-5 mm on the side of the cornea, and insert a device to break up and suction out the lens. The lens will be replaced by a manmade lens. The incision heals on its own and does not require any eye patch or stitches. This surgery takes less than 30 minutes.
Microincision Cataract Surgery (MICS)
Microincision cataract surgery (MICS) is a minimal invasive cataract surgery, performed by making an incision of less than 1.8 mm. The lens is removed by the phacoemulsification procedure and is implanted with a MICS intraocular lens. MICS is associated with decreased post-operative complications such as corneal aberrations (scratch on the corneal surface) and corneal astigmatism (irregular curvature of the cornea).
Secondary Lens Implantation
A complex cataract surgery or injury can sometimes make it difficult for the surgeon to immediately replace the damaged lens with a plastic lens in your eye. You may have to wear prescription lenses until your eye heals. Following this, your doctor will suggest a second surgery for lens implantation. This is called secondary lens implantation. Your surgeon will make a small incision in the white part of your eye (sclera) and insert a lens implant. The implant is stitched to the sclera and the incisions are closed with small stitches.
Small-incision Cataract Surgery (SICS)
Small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) involves an incision of around 6-7 mm made in the form of a tunnel through the sclera and cornea. The lens is removed and replaced with a rigid lens implant through this tunnel. No sutures are needed as the tiny incision will heal naturally by itself. It is a low-cost procedure compared to phacoemulsification and ensures good post-operative outcomes.