Cataract surgery (cataract)

With cataract surgery, we offer an effective and safe treatment method for cataracts. A cataract often occurs in the course of aging. The lens of the eye gradually becomes cloudy, limiting vision. During cataract surgery, we remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. This allows us to permanently restore vision without causing you to experience long periods of downtime.

What is cataract?

Cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. As a result, those affected see less clearly and perceive their surroundings as if through a veil. Increased sensitivity to glare can also indicate a cataract. Pain or a burning sensation in the eye, on the other hand, does not occur. The eye is externally intact.

In principle, a cataract is harmless, but it can considerably restrict vision. Therefore, in consultation with the patient, we may decide to perform cataract surgery. In our clinic, we always keep your individual situation in mind. While cataracts progress quickly in some patients, they cause hardly any discomfort in others. This is taken into account when planning treatment, as is your general medical history and the other condition of your eyes.

How do cataracts develop?

In general, cataracts are a symptom of aging. It usually develops in patients around age 50 and older without any apparent cause. With increasing age, the metabolism slows down and deteriorates. This results in deposits of metabolic products that can cloud the clear lens of the eye.

Certain medications and metabolic diseases such as diabetes can promote the development of a cataract. Other risk factors include past eye surgery, eye injuries, and frequent sun exposure without proper UV protection. A cataract can occur on one or both sides. However, in age-related cataracts, both eyes are usually affected.

How are cataracts treated?

The treatment of a cataract is performed exclusively surgically within the framework of cataract surgery. At the Eye Clinic, we perform this procedure in two stages: First, the clouded lens is liquefied and aspirated using ultrasound or nanolaser. Then we insert a foldable artificial lens into the eye. From now on, this performs the same task as the natural lens.

The modern foldable lens allows us to work through a tiny opening in the cornea. The refractive power of the artificial lens is determined individually for each patient before cataract surgery. To do this, we measure the cornea and the length of the eyeball. In this way, we can guarantee an optimal result for your cataract surgery. Complications are extremely rare with this procedure and can usually be managed well.

There are different types of lenses that can be used according to individual patient needs. We will be happy to advise you on the choice of lens.

Cataract surgery procedure

If your ophthalmologist advises you to have cataract surgery, your eyes will be thoroughly examined again. The doctor will take all the necessary measurements so that the artificial lens can then be custom-made. In the vast majority of cases, both eyes are affected by cataracts. In this case, one eye is usually operated on first, followed by the second eye at intervals of a few weeks. In this way you are restricted in your everyday life as little as possible.

Cataract surgery is a routine procedure in the hands of an experienced surgeon and takes only about 20-30 minutes. The eye is anesthetized locally, which can be done with eye drops or a local injection. The surgeon makes a tiny incision in the cornea to gain access to the lens. The clouded portions of the lens are now liquefied and aspirated using a high-precision ultrasound device or a nanolaser. In the process, the posterior part of the lens capsule is preserved.

In the second step, the folded artificial lens is inserted into the eye. The lens unfolds automatically and is held securely in position by its inherent tension. Suturing is therefore not necessary. The fine incision in the cornea does not need to be sutured either.

After cataract surgery, the treated eye is dressed with a bandage. As a rule, you will be able to go home with your companion on the same day. This is followed by follow-up treatment with eye drops and an eye ointment. The course of healing is checked regularly after cataract surgery.

What should I keep in mind after cataract surgery?

After your cataract surgery, you should take it easy on yourself physically and not rub your eye. You should conscientiously follow your surgeon's instructions for aftercare as well as the check-up appointments in order to prevent avoidable complications.

As a rule, patients are able to work and socialize after only a few days. You should only wait to drive until your ophthalmologist considers your vision to be sufficient.

It takes a few weeks after cataract surgery until full vision is achieved. You will probably continue to need slight vision correction. The new glasses can be fitted as soon as the healing is complete for both eyes and there is no change in the spectacle values. This is usually the case after about 5 weeks.

Are there any risks associated with cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a routine procedure in ophthalmology today. In our clinic we perform cataract surgery regularly, so we can offer you a high level of treatment safety and experience. Thanks to the most modern surgical methods using ultrasound or nanolaser, the risk of injuries, infections and other complications is very low. Nevertheless, as with any operation, they can never be completely ruled out.

In individual cases, swelling or detachment of the retina may occur after cataract surgery. Displacement of the lens and inflammation of the interior of the eye can also occur very rarely. The risk of complications is generally higher if there are other eye diseases or health problems besides cataract. Therefore, when deciding for or against cataract surgery, we always keep your overall health in mind.

Combined cataract surgery and glaucoma surgery

Both cataracts and glaucoma can occur in people of all ages. Most often, however, the development of cataracts and glaucoma accompanies the natural aging process. Therefore, older people may be affected by both diseases.

In this case, we offer our patients a combination operation, in which both diseases, the cataract and the glaucoma, are surgically addressed in one step. In the first step, as described above, the cloudy lens of the eye is liquefied by ultrasound waves and an artificial lens is inserted into the capsular bag. In the second step, the surgical correction of glaucoma is performed, in which an artificial drainage of aqueous humor from inside the eye is created under the conjunctiva of the eye. The combined operation takes a little longer than the correction of cataracts or glaucoma alone, and the aftercare is also a little more complex. However, it offers the great advantage for affected patients that both conditions can be treated with just one procedure.

Can a cataract come back?

During cataract surgery, we replace the clouded lens with an artificial lens. This cannot develop any changes itself, so your vision should not deteriorate again. However, it can happen that the remaining posterior lens capsule becomes cloudy. Then we speak of a so-called posterior cataract.

The symptoms of a posterior cataract are similar to those of a cataract. A slight clouding with a blinding sensation occurs again. A posterior cataract can be safely removed by laser under local anesthesia. The correction procedure is uncomplicated and takes only a few minutes.