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Cataract surgery

Cataract surgery

Dr Burgu Usta Uslu, an ophthalmologist at Anadolu Medical Centre explains the surgical treatment of cataract.

Is surgery the only treatment option?

Medication or treatment with lenses which may stop cataract progression or to heal cataract does not, so far, exist. Nowadays, the only option is surgery.

The eye lens that has become clouded as a result of the cataract, is surgically removed and an artificial intraocular lens is implanted instead. This procedure is known as the FAKO method where the cataractous lens may be dissolved with ultrasound waves with 40000 vibrations per second. Then it is folded and the most appropriate intraocular lens (artificial lens) is implanted, which is produced with cutting-edge technology. Recently, accommodating intraocular lenses have become available which may ensure clear near and far vision. Studies are currently on for various types of lenses which may be implanted.

When is surgery required?

Though particular scientific criteria regarding the time of the surgical intervention exist, the most significant ones with respect to surgery, are the decline in the quality of life and vision and the patient’s discomfort, inability to perform the daily routine activities. If problems occur on both eyes, they eyes are not operated within one session. There should be at least one-week interval between the surgeries. Surgeries performed at an earlier stage are performed easier than advanced cases.

After the surgery…

A dressing is placed on the patient’s eye in the first postoperative day. At home, when the patient is awake, they need to apply eye drops at every two hours. The avoidance of any pressure on the eye is very important during this period. In addition, drops need to be closed after use to avoid contamination.

How long is the recovery period?

As far as no contraindications exist, a local anesthesia is applied and the procedure usually lasts about 30 minutes. The patient is invited to a follow-up examination on the following day, on the first week and the first month after the surgery. Considerable recovery is achieved in the end of the first month.

Is a repeated surgery required?

During the surgery, the intraocular lens is placed into a transparent membrane. The posterior capsule may become clouded with time. However, this situation is very rare when lenses of high quality are used. This is called secondary cataract. Secondary cataract does not mean complete cataract formation. The membrane the artificial lens is in contact with, becomes clouded. In this case no surgery is needed, but an opening in the lens capsule is created by means of a laser. The laser breaks up the secondary cataract and the patient’s normal sight is restored.

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