Blog image

Different Types of Cataract Surgery and What to Expect Before, During and After Surgery


May 09, 2024 | 5 min read

A cataract is a common eye condition in which the natural lens of our eyes gets cloudy due to the cloudiness of the lens our vision gets blurry, hazy, or foggy. It makes your vision unclear, if you cannot get your cataract treatment on time it will lead to vision loss. Aging is the most common factor for causing cataracts but, some other medical conditions, injuries medications, and previous surgeries can also cause cataracts.


Get your cataract treatment at the best eye hospital in India. The treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery in which your cloudy lens (natural lens) is replaced with an artificial lens. If you are interested, in learning about cataract surgery, what a patient expects before, during, and after cataract surgery. Keep reading this blog and understand the different types of cataract surgery.


Types of Cataract Surgery

  • Phacoemulsification (Phaco): In Phacoemulsification, a small incision (cut) is made (usually around 2-3 mm) in the cornea. then, a tiny probe is inserted into the eye, which emits ultrasound waves. These ultrasound waves break up the cloudy lens (cataract) into small fragments, which are gently suctioned out of the eye. After removing the cataract, an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the eye to replace the natural lens. The IOL is typically folded and inserted through the same small incision used for phacoemulsification.
  • Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE): In ECCE, a larger incision (around 10-12 mm) is made in the cornea. The surgeon removes the cloudy lens in one piece, leaving the posterior capsule of the lens intact. This technique is typically used for advanced or dense cataracts that may be difficult to remove using phacoemulsification. Similar to phacoemulsification, an IOL is implanted after the cataract is removed. The incision may require stitches to close.
  • Manual Small-Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS): MSICS is a variation of ECCE but involves a smaller incision, typically around 6-7 mm. The cataract is manually removed through this incision, and the posterior capsule is left intact. This technique is often used in settings where advanced technology like phacoemulsification or femtosecond lasers may not be available. An IOL is implanted after removing the cataract, similar to the other techniques.
  • Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery: Procedure: In femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, a femtosecond laser is used to create precise incisions in the cornea and to fragment the cataract. The laser allows for customized incisions and more predictable outcomes compared to manual techniques. An IOL is implanted into the eye after the cataract is removed.
  • Refractive Cataract Surgery: Refractive cataract surgery aims not only to remove the cataract but also to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This can be achieved by selecting a specific type of IOL, such as multifocal or Toric lenses, which address these refractive errors.


In some cases, refractive cataract surgery may involve combining cataract surgery with additional procedures like LASIK or PRK to enhance vision correction further.


Each type of cataract surgery has its advantages, considerations, and potential complications. The choice of technique depends on factors such as the patient’s overall health, the severity of the cataract, and the surgeon’s expertise and preferences.


Preparation before Cataract Surgery

Before your surgery, your ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to assess your overall eye health. You may be advised to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding.

On the day of surgery, you’ll likely be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the procedure. Make sure you arrange for someone to drive you home afterward, as you may not be able to drive immediately following surgery.


During Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day. The procedure itself typically takes less than an hour and is performed under local anesthesia, meaning you’ll be awake but won’t feel any pain.

After numbing your eye with eye drops, the surgeon will make a small incision and remove the cloudy lens. If you’re having phacoemulsification, ultrasound waves will break up the lens before removal. Once the lens is out, the IOL will be implanted, and the incision will be closed with tiny stitches or left to heal on its own.


Recovery Period after Cataract Surgery

After surgery, you may experience discomfort, itching, or mild pain in the operated eye. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. It’s important to monitor your progress follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and attend all follow-up appointments.

You may be advised to wear an eye patch or protective shield at night to prevent rubbing or accidental injury to the operated eye while sleeping. Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or bending over during the initial recovery to prevent complications.

Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision within a few days to weeks after surgery. However, it may take some time for your vision to stabilize, and you may need a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses.


What are the Complications of Cataract Surgery?

While cataract surgery is generally safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks. Complications such as infection, bleeding, swelling, or retinal detachment are rare but possible. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain, sudden vision changes, or any other concerning symptoms after surgery.



Cataract surgery is a common and relatively straightforward procedure that can significantly improve vision and quality of life for people with cataracts. you can ensure a smooth and successful outcome by understanding the different types of cataract surgery, preparing adequately, and following your doctor’s instructions during the recovery. If you’re experiencing vision problems due to cataracts, don’t hesitate to consult a cataract specialist at the best eye hospital in India to explore your cataract treatment options.

Like0 Share0

Written and Verified by:





Related Blogs

Get a Call Back

Book Appointment Call now 1800 1200 111