Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called “crystalline lens”) that has become cloudy, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. Many patients’ first symptoms are strong glare from lights, along with poor ability to see at at low light levels. During cataract surgery, a patient’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens’s transparency.
Following surgical removal of the natural lens, an artificial intraocular lens implant is inserted into the eye. Preoperative measurements taken on the eye help the surgeon determine the best power for the implanted lens. This allows some patients to achieve better vision postoperatively without glasses than they had before.
Cataract surgery is generally performed by an eye surgeon in an outpatient surgical center using local anesthesia, usually causing little or no discomfort to the patient.