How Cataract Surgery is Performed | Seattle Eye Surgeons

As we get older, it’s no surprise that our vision starts to decline. Depending on your unique health circumstance, there’s a high chance of developing eye diseases and vision issues, such as cataracts.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, which causes vision loss. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Modern cataract surgery can restore vision, and is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today.

Woman's surprised eyes

Your Seattle eye surgeons at Clearview Eye & Laser want to outline cataract surgery the best that we can to help you understand what to expect in your procedure.

The Basics of Cataract Surgery

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens or IOL. This is a straightforward procedure that usually takes up to an hour. The procedure does not require an overnight stay in a hospital.

The Cataract Surgery Procedure 

Most modern cataract procedures involve the use of a high-frequency ultrasound device to break up the cloudy lens into small pieces. This procedure promotes faster healing and reduces the risk of complications.

Starting the procedure, your doctor will dilate your pupil to better visualize the cataract. They will then use anesthetics to numb the area. If you do feel anxious, sedation can help you relax.

We’ve broken up the cataract surgery procedure into three steps:

The Incision: To gain access to the inside of the eye and the cataract, a small incision is made where your cornea meets your sclera (the white part of your eye).

Lens Fragmentation: Before the cataract is removed, it must be broken into removable pieces. An ultrasonic device breaks up the cataract into small pieces, and then removed with suction.

Opening the Lens Capsule: Your natural lens sits in a small, clear capsule. The front area of this capsule is removed to reach the cataract. The surgeon will create a round, smooth opening through to implant the IOL.

Once the cataract is removed, the IOL is inserted. The Seattle eye surgeon will do his final inspection and check that everything is in proper order before closing the incision. You will likely have eye drops and an eye shield for protection. The affected eye can take up to a week to recover, with complete recovery in about a month.

Your Seattle Cataract Surgeons at Clearview Eye & Laser

If you suspect that you or a loved one has cataracts or any other vision-related issue, don’t hesitate to schedule your next appointment at our Seattle eye care center. Our experienced doctors specialize in testing and the detection of cataracts.

If you have any questions or concerns about how the cataract surgery procedure is done, contact us at our Burien and West Seattle eye clinic locations.


Read more articles on cataracts from Clearview Eye & Laser:

FAQ about Cataract Surgery
Cataracts with Astigmatism 
Keeping Your Vision Healthy As You Age