Find out how cataract surgery works

The opacity in the lens, the natural lens through which the light rays pass, compromises vision and, in extreme cases, leads to blindness. To reverse this situation, it is necessary to perform a surgical procedure. Speaking of which, do you know how cataract surgery works?

Although medical advances have simplified this type of intervention and provided more safety and speed in its execution, many people still believe that the process to treat cataracts is painful and time-consuming. In fact, he is painless and the patient is discharged the same day. In this post, find out how cataract surgery works, what are the procedures performed before and after the intervention, the risks and the necessary precautions for a quick recovery!

What is cataract?

Cataracts are eye injuries that affect the lens, the natural lens of the eyes . It becomes opaque and, consequently, the light rays do not reach the retina, the inner membrane responsible for the formation of images. Therefore, the view is blurred.

The main cause of cataracts is aging. Soon, it affects, in large part, people over 50 years. However, the injury also arises due to trauma caused by accidents, inflammation in the inner region of the eyes and even the use of eye drops with corticosteroids.

Mothers who had rubella or toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can also transmit the infection to the fetus. In this situation, the child is born with several problems in the eyeball, including the cataract. Treatment should be carried out as soon as possible.

How does cataract surgery work?

The only way to treat cataracts is through surgery . Because of medical advances, the intervention is carried out in a simple way, although the skill and training of the surgeon is necessary to reduce risks.

But, after all, how does cataract surgery work? The process begins with anesthesia and, in general, involves the use of eye drops and mild sedation. Then, an incision is made in the eye using a scalpel that measures approximately 3 mm in diameter.

In the next step, a device called a phacoemulsifier is introduced at the incision site. This device grinds and absorbs the cataract. Thus, it is possible to replace the lens with a lens that will correct the patient’s vision.

It is worth mentioning that there is a lens of specific size for each person. It is up to the doctor to indicate the most appropriate alternative for the patient, which allows light to converge in the macula, located in the center of the retina. On average, the entire procedure takes 20 minutes.

What happens before and after the operation?

Find out what are the procedures performed before and after cataract surgery!


This phase begins with a consultation with the ophthalmologist. Once the cataract is detected and the surgical intervention is scheduled, the doctor will order a series of tests , such as ocular ultrasound and corneal topography, in addition to cardiological evaluation and analysis of blood samples.


After the cataract surgery is finished, a dressing will be applied to the operated eye using an acrylic plug, gauze or even sunglasses. Thus, the patient can return home on the same day. For a certain time, eye drops will also be prescribed.

What are the risks of the surgical procedure?

The risk of a surgical intervention to treat cataracts is practically zero, but it exists. There are cases where the patient has the sensation of sand in the eye, often accompanied by redness.

When infections occur, there is a danger of other complications that, in extreme situations, lead to loss of sight. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to follow medical recommendations after surgery.

Taking these risks into account, doctors adopt the strategy of operating one eye and then the other with an interval that varies from two weeks to a month, depending on the recovery of each patient.

What care is needed after surgery?

Now that you know how cataract surgery works, understand what care is needed to avoid complications and ensure a quick and smooth recovery!

Take rest

In general, the patient will normally see again a few hours after the intervention. Still, the recommendation is to sit in a comfortable place and keep your eyes relaxed for a few days.

Clean your eyes properly

Proper cleaning of the eyes is of fundamental importance to prevent infections. Therefore, wash them with water and neutral shampoo – if necessary, ask your doctor for guidance in choosing the product.

However, do the cleaning carefully, so as not to risk damaging the eye region. The use of makeup is prohibited in the postoperative period until the ophthalmologist allows it.

Don’t scratch or rub your eyes

The temptation to scratch or rub your eyes is great, but you need to police yourself, as any oversight can hurt the place and lead to infections. The good news is that there are eye protectors that prevent such an action.

Do not sleep on the operated eye

In the first days after cataract surgery, the patient must not sleep on the operated eye. Pressure in the eyeball increases the risk of injury and even inflammation and infection. Therefore, the guideline is to use a protector at bedtime.

Forget impact activities

Anyone in the habit of performing physical activity should take a break shortly after the surgical procedure. The effort made during an exercise, however small it may seem, can compromise the operated eye. Therefore, the patient should only practice it again with the doctor’s authorization.

Use eye drops correctly

Eye drops or ointments are drugs that act as anti-inflammatories or antibiotics. Therefore, they need to be applied at the right time and in the right amount, throughout the period recommended by the ophthalmologist.

And then, did you understand how cataract surgery works and what care is essential for a quick recovery? Finally, know that it is possible to have consultations and exams at different prices, in medical clinics composed of experienced and trusted professionals. What are you waiting for to take care of your eye health ?

If you need to have a check-up or a specialist to examine a certain discomfort you are experiencing, contact PartMed right now and keep up with your health!


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