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Cataract Surgery

Clip Number: 9 of 9
Presentation: Common Eye Conditions, Tests, and Procedures
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Once your eye is numb, a clear plastic sheet may be placed over the eye to be operated on, and the other eye may be covered with a plastic eye shield.
An eyelid speculum - an instrument used to open the eye for better viewing - will then be placed. It will look like this. Although your eye is numb, you may still feel some pressure on your eyelids.
At this point you will be positioned underneath the microscope and instructed to look straight at a target light.
A small incision or cut will be made in the cornea. Through this, your doctor will then carefully open the lens capsule to reveal the lens. The top of the lens capsule may also be removed. Through the incision and lens capsule, your doctor will carefully insert a small, specialized instrument. This instrument uses sound waves to break down your clouded lens into small pieces. These pieces will then gently be removed from your eye through the instrument.
After these are removed, an artificial lens will then be placed into your eye. This artificial lens is usually made of plastic or silicone. It is usually folded in half and inserted directly into your lens capsule. When released into the lens capsule, it opens up and fills the capsule much like the natural lens of the eye did prior to the surgery.
In most cases the incision in your eye will seal on its own and no stitches are required. The drapes and the eyelid speculum are then removed.
The entire procedure typically lasts 20 to 40 minutes per eye.

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