Cataracts & Small Incision Surgery



What is a cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. Normally, light passes through the clear lens and is focused onto the retina. However, as a result of the natural aging process, the lens gradually becomes cloudy. The cataract or cloudy lens blocks the passage of light through the eye and causes distorted or blurred vision.


Normal vision (above) compared to simulated vision through a cataract (below).





A cataract blocks the path of light through the eye and causes poor vision.



Ultrasound (Phacoemulsification or "Phaco") is used to gently break
the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The lens fragments are removed through
the tip of the probe before a plastic lens is implanted.


An incision from a traditional cataract surgery technique (left) compared to a small incision technique (right). When sutures are used, they are not visible after surgery.

Traditional cataract surgery requires an incision that spans a third of the circumference of the cornea and needs as many as eight stitches to close. In contrast, the phaco technique allows the cloudy lens to be removed through an incision as small as 1/6 of an inch wide.

No-stitch self sealing incision


In many cases the incision can be closed with just one stitch. In cases where the surgeon can use a technique that does not require sutures, the natural pressure inside the eye is used to keep the incision closed while the eye heals.

Advantages of no-stitch /small incision surgery?

* Faster recovery of good vision

* Faster return to normal activities

* Good vision in a matter of days instead of weeks or even months

* Return home within hours of the procedure

* Reduces the chance of surgically induced astigmatism or ruptured sutures


After the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is implanted to restore good vision.

Sight loss can be prevented

Although there is no way to prevent the development of cataracts, loss of sight from the disease is largely preventable. With modern technology, cataracts can be removed and good vision restored. Cataract surgery can be performed when a loss of vision begins interfering with daily activities.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of cataracts or other vision problems, you should obtain a complete eye examination.