Apr 22 2024
4 mins read

Cataract Surgery: Recognizing Types to Treatment!

Under normal conditions, the clear lens of the eye functions to transmit light to the retina. However, in cataract patients, the lens becomes cloudy and can worsen over time. As a result, vision becomes impaired and makes it difficult for the affected individuals to engage in activities. Cataract surgery is a common medical procedure performed to address this issue. Here is a complete explanation regarding the types, benefits, and treatment.

Goals and Indications

The goal of this medical procedure is to remove cataracts that make the lens of the eye cloudy. Subsequently, the cloudy lens will be replaced with a clear artificial lens or intraocular lens (IOL). This allows patients to regain better vision. There are several indications that lead doctors to recommend cataract surgery, including the following:

  • Experiencing vision disturbances, especially at night.
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Seeing halos around light sources, such as room lights, lights in buildings, or vehicle lights.
  • Inability to see distant objects.
  • Changes in vision when looking at colored objects.
  • Increased frequency of changing glasses.

Benefits of Cataract Surgery

In youth, the eye lens is typically clear like transparent glass, allowing you to see well and clearly. However, as age advances, this part of the eye can become cloudy, limiting vision. The benefits of cataract surgery are to eliminate this cloudy area to improve overall vision. Some benefits you can experience after undergoing this medical procedure include seeing objects more clearly, looking at bright lights without feeling too dazzled, and being able to distinguish colors.

Types of Surgical Procedures

There are several techniques in cataract surgery that can be used to destroy a damaged lens, including the following:

  1. Phacoemulsification

    This method is considered the modern standard for cataract surgery. In this technique, the doctor uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasonic) to destroy the lens of the eye. The doctor makes a small incision in the eyeball and inserts a tool to emit ultrasonic sound waves into the lens.

  2. Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE)

    In cataract surgery with the extracapsular method, the doctor will destroy the lens of the eye and remove it entirely. However, the capsule behind the lens is left to place the new lens. Typically, doctors apply this technique to patients with fairly dense cataracts, making the destruction process more challenging.

  3. Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implantation

    Generally, this technique has a relatively high success rate. In the intracapsular technique, the doctor makes a large incision to remove the entire lens along with its capsule from the eye. Then, the doctor places the IOL precisely in the area of the previous lens.

  4. Laser Cataract Surgery (Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery/FLACS)

    FLACS is the most advanced cataract surgery breakthrough using femtosecond lasers with high accuracy, executing the entire process using laser beams, without a surgical blade. This technique is the evolution of the most advanced cataract removal process.

Postoperative Care

After the surgery, patients are usually allowed to go home on the same day but are not allowed to drive themselves. This is because the patient's vision may still be blurry after the surgery and will improve in a few days, marked by clearer colors. Here are some things to do after cataract surgery:

  • Undergo routine examinations by an eye doctor to ensure a smooth recovery.
  • Use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation.
  • After cataract surgery, it is advisable to avoid heavy activities and bending for several weeks.
  • Use sunglasses or eye shields to protect the eyes from bright light and dust.
  • Attend follow-up consultations with an eye doctor to assess the results of the surgery and adjust the treatment plan if necessary.

Cataract surgery is not only a routine procedure to restore vision but also an important step in maintaining eye health. By recognizing various types of surgeries, understanding the process, and complying with postoperative care, you can optimize the results of the surgery and enjoy clearer vision again. If you or someone you know is considering cataract surgery, consult with our eye doctors at IHH Healthcare Malaysia for more information and determine the best course of action according to individual needs.