Refractive Cataract Surgery

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Refractive cataract surgery is a form of eye surgery that removes a cataract—a hazy or opaque region in the eye lens—while simultaneously treating visual issues. It is a very efficient method of treating cataracts, enhancing vision, and regaining clear vision.

When the proteins in the eye’s lens clump together and become clouded, a condition known as cataracts develops. They are a major factor in vision loss in older individuals, but they can also happen to younger people as a result of trauma or certain medical problems. Numerous symptoms, such as double vision, glare, altered colour perception, and impaired vision, can be brought on by cataracts.

The ophthalmologist (eye doctor) will remove the hazy lens during refractive cataract surgery and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that is intended to treat visual issues. The IOL can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and is chosen depending on the unique needs of the patient.

IOLs come in a variety of forms, including:

  • Monofocal IOLs: IOLs with a single focal length, such as monofocal IOLs, are used to correct vision at a single distance. For intermediate or close-up vision, the patient will likely need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
  • Multifocal IOLs: IOLs having various focus points, or multifocal IOLs, enable patients to see effectively at a variety of distances without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Toric IOLs: These IOLs are made to treat astigmatism, a frequent eye condition that results in distorted or hazy vision.


In order to remove cataracts and correct vision, various procedures may be utilized during refractive cataract surgery. Here are a few of the most popular methods:

  • Phacoemulsification: The most often employed procedure for refractive cataract surgery is phacoemulsification. Using ultrasonic waves, the cataract is broken up into tiny fragments, which are then suctioned out of the eye through a small incision that has been made in the eye.

  • Laser-assisted cataract surgery: In this procedure, the cataract is broken up by making small incisions in the eye with the use of a laser. Additionally, the intraocular lens (IOL), which will be placed in the eye, may be shaped using a laser.

  • Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE): An older procedure entails making a bigger incision in the eye and extracting the cataract whole. Due to phacoemulsification’s reputation as a safer and more accurate procedure, it is not frequently used in modern medicine.
  • Small-incision cataract surgery (SICS): A small incision is made in the eye during small-incision cataract surgery (SICS), and the cataract is manually removed with the aid of specialised equipment. Despite requiring less specialised equipment, it is comparable to phacoemulsification.

According to the patient’s unique requirements and the surgeon’s preferences, the precise method employed during refractive cataract surgery will vary. For curing cataracts and enhancing eyesight, all of these methods have proven successful.



The purpose of the procedure is to address the cataract-related vision impairments as well as, in certain circumstances, additional vision abnormalities such nearsightedness or farsightedness. A summary of the process is provided here:

Pre-op preparation: Prior to the procedure, the patient will have a comprehensive eye exam to analyse their overall eye health and choose the optimal IOL type for their requirements. Additionally, the patient can be instructed to stop taking a particular medicine or make transportation arrangements for after the operation.

Local anaesthetic which numbs the area around the eye, is typically used during the surgery. Despite being awake during the procedure, the patient won’t experience any pain.

Incision: To access the cataract, the surgeon will create a tiny incision (cut) in the eye. The precise procedure employed will determine the incision’s size and location.

Removing the cataract: The surgeon will delicately remove the cataract using specialist tools. This might entail fragmenting the cataract into tiny fragments and sucking those bits out of the eye.

Inserting the IOL: The surgeon will place the artificial lens (IOL) in the eye once the cataract has been removed. Once within the eye, the IOL unfolds and settles into place after being folded to fit through the small incision.

Closing the wound: The surgeon will use sutures (stitches) or a certain kind of glue to close the incision. Over time, the sutures or glue will fall out or be absorbed by the body.

Post-operative care: The patient will be observed for a brief period of time following surgery before being allowed to return home. On how to take care of their eye and when to come back for follow-up appointments, they will be given advice. After surgery, the majority of patients are able to resume their regular routines within a few days.





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