Cataract surgery has been great progress in recent years, including the development of new methods for the extraction of the crystalline. However, complications remain possible, fortunately the more often minor.
Cataract surgery has become the most common surgery in the elderly. The technique is now well mastered and the results are, in the vast majority of cases, very satisfactory. It can be performed under general anesthesia, without hospitalization. There is thus no age limit its use, although instead, because the restoration of a satisfactory vision often allows very elderly regain a degree of autonomy.
A more common disease with age
It is estimated that cataracts reached more than one in five from 65, more than one in three aged over 75 and nearly two out of three aged over 85. This condition is due to the development of opacities in the lens, the transparent lens that allows the accommodation. These opacities prevent light rays pass, resulting in a decrease in vision which can be very important. The only treatment is the use of surgery. It is to remove the lens has become opaque and to replace it with an implant.
A highly variable evolution
Cataracts are not uniformly. Some stabilize. Others did evolve after many years to vision loss. Therefore the patient assisted and informed by his ophthalmologist, to decide the time of the intervention, based on perceived discomfort. Studies show that, when the decline in Visual acuity is important, the intervention has beneficial effects on the quality of life and often also on other diseases related to age.
The most often used technique is extracapsular lens extraction. A small incision is made in the cornea, and then the core of the lens is removed, leaving the capsule in place. This procedure is usually performed today by a method called phacoemulsification. The lens is fragmented into small pieces by ultrasound and then drawn in through a tiny incision. The healing is faster and the risk of lower complications.
In almost all cases an implant is then introduced inside the capsule to replace the lens. The implant can be bent, which allows to introduce it without difficulty through the incision. In phacoemulsification, it is not always necessary to suture.
These implants allowed to scrap the thick, unsightly glasses that were formerly people operated cataract. However, they can deform to the accommodation. They are therefore focused on a type of vision, generally on the vision by far, which requires glasses for reading.
Multifocal lenses are under development. They have the advantage of allowing the vision of close and far. The advantage would be valuable for the operated persons. For some patients, however, with other eye diseases, the installation of an implant is contraindicated and corrective lenses is still necessary.