A cataract is an opaque region in the lens of the eye causing loss of vision. During cataract surgery, the affected lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic, and you will probably be able to go home the same day. In the technique shown here, the lens is first softened by an ultrasound probe. The softened tissue is extracted, and a new lens is inserted.
An ultrasound probe is inserted into the lens through a small incision in the cornea. The probe softens the lens by emitting sound waves, and the softened tissue is then sucked out.
The back of the natural lens capsule is left in place, and an artificial lens is placed inside it. The incision in the cornea is either closed with surgical stitches or left to seal itself without stitching.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.