Eyes Home > Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a procedure in which your cataract is removed to improve your vision. It involves removing the natural lens of the eye, and, in many cases, replacing it with an artificial one. In about 90 percent of cases, people who have surgery to remove cataracts have better vision afterward. The surgery usually takes less than an hour, and many patients choose to remain awake for the procedure.

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world, with over 1 million performed per year in the United States alone. The purpose of cataract surgery is to remove your cataract so that your vision can be improved.
Cataract surgery is a proven surgical procedure with predictable results and few complications. Because of the advances in techniques, cataract surgery does not require the extensive recovery periods of years past.

Do I Need It?

Because of your cataract, you have probably been experiencing:
  • Glare in your eyes when looking at bright lights or oncoming car headlights
  • Decreased vision to the point where you may no longer pass your driver's test or perform activities in your daily life without difficulty.
Additionally, your doctor may be experiencing difficulty seeing the back of your eye, which is especially important if you have other eye diseases that may need to be monitored or treated.
These are all symptoms that may indicate your cataract is ready to be removed.

Types of Cataract Surgery

There are two types of cataract surgery -- phacoemulsification and extracapsular surgery. Your doctor can explain the specific differences between the two and help determine which is better for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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