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Cataract Treatment: Removing the Cloudy Lens

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. Surgery can be done to remove the cataract and replace the lens. This can improve how well you see. The most common methods to remove a cataract are phacoemulsification and extracapsular extraction.



A small incision is made in the cornea or sclera. Then a hole is made in the anterior capsule. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the lens. Sound vibrations from the probe break the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The pieces are then suctioned out. No stitches are needed after the procedure.

Extracapsular Extraction


This method requires a larger incision in the cornea. The entire lens can then be removed at once through the incision. Stitches are used to close the incision after the procedure.

Implanting an IOL

After the cloudy lens is removed, it can be replaced with a plastic lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). Your doctor can tell you more about this part of the surgery.


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