How is cataract surgery performed?
Cataract occurs as our eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy or opaque due to ageing. It affects the vision progressively leading to a reduced field of vision, contrast and colour perception. Today, cataract surgery is a common eye procedure performed in Singapore.
Cataract surgery has evolved over the years from squirm-inducing techniques such as ‘couching’ to effective modern surgical methods that include the use of ultrasonic vibrations, laser and small probe with micro-incisions to remove the cataract. Thereafter, an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, will be replaced to restore vision. Anaesthesia is administered to minimise discomfort during the surgery.
How fast is the procedure? Surgery is performed on 1 eye or both eyes on the same day?
Cataract surgery is a 30-minute day surgery. The spending time at the hospital on surgery day will be about 3 to 4 hours though.
You need to return for post-op reviews – Day 1, Week 1, Month 1 and Month 6 to ensure the eye is recovering well and to rule out infection. It is normal to experience fluctuating vision as it takes about 3 months for the vision to stabilise. The eye will take about 1 month to recover though most people are able to return to work after 1 week.
Modern cataract surgery is safe and effective with a low risk of complication and infection. As such, there are eye surgeons who offer bilateral cataract surgery (both eyes done on the same day). The benefits of doing so include saving time and providing visual balance (people who are very long- or short-sighted). However, with bilateral surgery, the risk of post-operative infection can affect both eyes. Hence, many eye surgeons prefer to perform both eyes on separate days to reduce any post-surgery risk that can arise from bilateral surgery.
Waiting time at private eye centres is relatively short. You can get the second eye surgery done 2 to 3 days after the first eye. This minimises the period of time one needs to experience vision imbalance between both eyes.
At Atlas Eye Specialist Centre, we provide both micro-incision phacoemulsification and laser-assisted cataract surgery. There are different type of intraocular lenses depending on your needs, lifestyle and budget:
1. Monofocal intraocular lens:
Corrects a single vision, aiming to be spectacles-free when looking at far objects. Reading glasses will be required for near work or reading
2. Multifocal intraocular lens:
Corrects short-/long-sightedness and presbyopia at the same time, aiming to reduce the reliance on spectacles.