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cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is the only treatment that provides a cure.  However, people should have surgery only when their vision is so impaired by the cataract that they feel unsafe.  During cataract surgery, a patient's aging and cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.  The surgery can be performed on a person of any age and is generally safe even for people with illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.  Typically, a small incision is made in the eye and the cataract removed by breaking it up with ultrasound and taking out the pieces (phacoemulsification).  An artificial lens is then placed where the cataract was removed.  The surgery is almost always performed under local anesthesia, the eye surface is numbed with an injection or eye drops.  Normally, the surgery lasts approximately 30 minutes and the patient is released home the same day of the surgery.  Post surgery restrictions include avoiding bending over and heavy lifting.  Post-op treatment may include eye drops or ointments, wearing a protective shield over the eyes, eyeglasses and follow-up appointments with the doctor.  There are cases where after the surgery it is necessary to wear thick glasses or contact lenses. 

Cataract%20surgery%20-%20Phacoemulsification.jpg" />Currently, the two main types of cataract surgery extraction performed by the ophthalmologists are phacoemulsification (phaco) and conventional extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). In both types of surgery an intraocular lens is usually inserted. Foldable lenses are generally used when phaco is performed while non-foldable lenses are placed following ECCE. The small incision size used in phacoemulsification often allows "sutureless" wound closure. ECCE usually require stitching.

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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