With cataract surgery, the clouded eye lens is removed and replaced with a new artificial lens. If both eyes are affected, one eyes after the other is treated (normally the weaker one first). After recovery the second eye is treated.
Prior to surgery several examinations are necessary:
To be able to determinate the gradation of the new artificial lens, the corneal curvature is measured and the length of the eyeball determined with ultrasound or modern laser technology.
The general health condition of the patient as well as his medication - especially blood diluents – is controlled. These examinations serve to guarantee the highest possible safety.
Prior to surgery
Surgery is carried out under local anaesthesia, patients are allowed to eat and drink up to 6 hours prior to surgery. In the last 6 hours before surgery, patients are only allowed to drink. Diabetics should clear their medication with their general practitioner.
Prior to surgery our anaesthetist supplies the patient with medication for sedation and relaxation. He also monitors the patient during surgery (ECG, blood pressure and pulse measuring). There is no need for general anaesthesia due to the application of special eye drops that sedate the eye and lead to complete insensitivity to pain. During surgery the patient is awake and responsive.
Before surgery the eye is cleansed thoroughly with a disinfecting solution and the face covered with sterile cloths. The patient is given additional oxygen; the cloth is positioned over the face –similar to a tent in order to avoid a sensation of tightness.
During surgery the upper and lower lid are kept open with a small spring (surgical lid-barrier). You do not have to keep your eye open by yourself. To prevent the eye from drying, a wetting agent is applied in regular basis on to the eye surface. You can feel the liquid running down your eye. The surgery itself is carried out under a special surgical microscope.
After local anaesthesia the surgeon makes a small incision, shorter than 2mm. This incision opens a small aperture that allows access to the inside of the eye.
Through this aperture the natural cloudy lens is liquefied by ultrasound and suctioned. The lens capsule remains intact. It surrounds and protects the eye lens and, at the next step, serves as “carrier” for the new artificial lens.
Prior to implantation, the new artificial lens is folded by the surgeon. Due to this the aperture through which the lens is inserted into the eye, can be microscopic.
The artificial lens unfolds itself in the lens capsule and slides into its final position. Flexible bars keep it in the capsule sack. The new lens is in the same place where the old natural one used to be.
The procedure is so gentle that the microscopic incision does not have to be sutured. It closes by itself - similar to a valve – without scars. Normally the surgery is over in less than 10 minutes. Generally speaking, the whole stay in the Smile Eyes Clinic is less than 2 hours.
During laser surgery
Laser technology inaugurated a new era regarding precision and makes the surgeon´s scalpel unnecessary. A computer-guided laser calculates the eye structures and plans the treatment steps. Laser allows precise surgical entrances, exact lens opening and individually calculated lens core partition. This saves superfluous ultra sound energy and guarantees a perfect placing of the artificial lens.
The operated eye is covered with an ointment bandage. After a certain monitoring phase we let you go home. You are not allowed to drive a vehicle so please bring an accompanying person. For several hours after surgery you should not be alone.
Even if you are home again very soon after surgery your treatment is not completed yet. On the day of surgery take it easy. Best is to lie down at home. The first day after surgery the ointment bandage is removed and the eye examined. Your doctor gives you medication which you are supposed to take according to his instructions.
On the whole, during the first days after surgery you will notice a considerable improvement of your visual faculty. But initially for a short time the vision is compromised by the irritation of the eye. You have to show a little patience until reaching your final good visual acuity.
That´s what you should pay attention to in the following days and weeks
Please take the prescribed medication regularly and punctually and respect the appointments for examination. If you cannot administer your eye medication properly by yourself, please let friends or family help you! Also a professional health care service could support you. If you have any question we are here to help you.
Do not squeeze or rub your eye in any event. Even with a small self-closing incision, your eye has not yet regained its normal robustness.
In the first days after surgery your face should not be sprinkled with water. If you wash your hair, be careful to incline your head backwards. During the first days you should avoid getting your eye in contact with soap.
Physical effort and sports such as swimming or diving, cycling or sauna should be avoided until your surgeon gives his permission, normally at the latest after two weeks.
Working or driving a vehicle depends on the visual acuity after surgery. You can take active part in street traffic with the expressed permission of your ophthalmologist.
Since more light passes through the new artificial lens than through the old cloudy one, in the first weeks after surgery most of the patients prefer wearing sunglasses that also serve as protective glasses in adverse weather conditions.
Watching TV is generally possible, even shortly after surgery.