Cataract is a medical condition that often occurs with age. Cataract surgery is needed, if the condition of the cataract has significantly impaired visual function and affects the quality of life of the sufferer.

Cataract is a condition that makes the eye lens look cloudy or foggy. Though normally, the eye lens looks clear and transparent (transparent). Cataracts can be cured by surgery. Then, what is the cataract surgery procedure?

Which Is Experienced When Undergoing Cataract Surgery

This is the Vision of Cataract Patients

In people with cataracts, cloudy lenses will cause vision problems like the following:

  • Blurred or foggy vision.
  • Light sensitive. Sometimes when you see a light, like a halo (hello).
  • When looking with one eye, objects can be seen doubly.
  • The colors look faded or look yellowish or brownish. Over time, cataract sufferers will find it difficult to distinguish between blue and purple.
  • This visual impairment can gradually deteriorate, so that you must frequently change glasses.

Until now, it is not certain why cataracts can be formed. But several factors, including aging, eye injury, prolonged sun exposure, family history of cataracts, malnutrition, smoking, diabetes, and using certain drugs, can increase the risk of cataracts.

Although most occur in older people, cataracts can also occur in children or newborns, although rarely. The causes include congenital infections or genetic diseases.

Operating Procedure

Mild cataracts may not require medical treatment. However, surgery is needed when the lens is cloudy so heavy that it interferes with daily activities or vision cannot be helped with glasses. Cataract surgery aims to replace a cloudy eyepiece with an artificial eyepiece.

Before deciding on the type and technique of cataract surgery, the doctor will usually perform a series of examinations including physical examination of the eye and supporting examinations such as ultrasound of the eye to assess abnormalities of the lens of the eye. You will also be advised to use eye drops as prescribed by your doctor for 1-2 days before surgery. You may not use any drugs, and you cannot eat and drink for 12 hours before undergoing surgery.

There are several commonly used surgical techniques, namely:

  • Phacoemulsification

  • Surgical procedure by making a small incision near the cornea. A small instrument is then inserted and the cloudy lens is destroyed using ultrasonic vibrations. The broken lens is then sucked out with the same tool. This technique is the most common.

  • Cataract surgery with minimal incision (microincision cataract surgery)

  • This is a surgical technique for cataracts that are less than 1.8 mm in size.

  • Extracapsular cataract surgery

  • The surgical procedure involves making an incision that is wide enough on the eye to be able to take a cloudy lens as a whole, leaving a lens capsule inside the eye. This technique is intended for those whose cataracts have covered most of the lens of the eye.

  • Intracapsular cataract surgery

  • Cataract surgery in which the lens is removed following the lens capsule that surrounds it. In this operation, a larger incision is required than other cataract surgery techniques.

After the cloudy lens is removed, the doctor will replace it with an artificial eyepiece. This lens is useful to improve vision by making light focused on the back of the eye. There are several types of intraocular lenses, namely:

  • Torik lens

  • This lens is useful for correcting nearsightedness or astigmatism or cylinders.

  • Monofocal lens

  • To focus on only one distance, which is for nearsighted eyes.

  • Multifocal lens

  • To focus on a variety of distances, ranging from short, medium and far distances.


A few hours after surgery, you might be able to go home. This is because cataract operations generally use local anesthesia. In addition, the operation takes place in a relatively short time, which is around 30-45 minutes.

However, you are advised to ask for help from others to take you home, because you might not be able to see perfectly. The eyes can become sensitive to light, blur, and itch for several days postoperatively.

Some steps that can help with eye recovery after cataract surgery include:

  • Avoid touching eyes.
  • Use eye drops as directed by your doctor to relieve postoperative discomfort.
  • Avoid entering anything into the eye, such as soap or water.
  • Don’t wear eye makeup for at least 4 weeks.
  • Don’t swim for 4-6 weeks.
  • Do not get on a plane without the doctor’s approval.
  • Do not drive the vehicle until the doctor permits it.
  • Usually after cataract surgery, you need to wear nearsighted or nearsighted glasses or even a combination of both. This is because artificial eye lenses cannot focus at a certain distance.

Postoperatively, the eye can completely recover in about two months. Most people will experience improved vision after surgery. You will be able to see the light without blinding, can distinguish colors because it looks brighter, and can see objects with focus. At least, it takes about 4-6 weeks to fully recover, after you have had cataract surgery.

Risks of Cataract Surgery

The risk of complications from cataract operations is very low and can be treated with medication or further surgery. Complications usually occur if you have eye diseases or certain medical conditions.

Immediately consult an ophthalmologist, if after cataract surgery, you experience eye redness, pain that does not go away even though you have been using pain relievers, nausea and vomiting, prolonged coughing, or loss of vision.

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