Types of Cataract Surgery: Which one is Best for You?

Types of Cataract Surgery: Which one is Best for You?

Cataract surgery is the safest surgical procedure for treating cataracts in the human eye. Technology has dramatically influenced replacement lens for a clouded lens. The process involves using the artificial lens in place of the natural lens capsule of your eye. Moreover, cataract surgery can also help correct any blurry vision problems for normal vision in retinal detachment. There are three main types of cataract surgery that an eye surgeon can recommend.

  1. Small incision cataract surgery (SICS), also known as phacoemulsification
  2. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS)
  3. Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE)

Comparing the three types of cataracts surgery

The first two cataract surgery Sydney choices, SICS and FLACS, are modern procedures that ensure maximum effectiveness. However, phacoemulsification cataract surgery is the typical type of eye correction procedure. This process is prevalent in developed countries, while others choose FLACS. The replacement lens is also a clear artificial lens that replaces the cloudy natural lens. 

Extracapsular cataract surgery by extraction is only necessary in cases of mature cataracts. On the other hand, it may also result from complex procedures or a tendency to have complications during cataract surgery. If the eye surgeon notices that other methods could be risky or impossible, he recommends the ECCE.

In developed countries, extracapsular cataract extraction is performed less frequently. However, it is the standard type of cataract surgery in developing countries, perhaps because of the prevalent cataract condition, which may tend towards complications. Another reason could be that the process is more affordable than the first two.

To understand which cataract surgery is the best for your case, you may want to consider these options in detail. In addition, initial diagnoses should tell the kind of cataracts you have and how to restore perfect vision for your eyes.

Understanding your kind of cataract

Depending on the kind you have, there are a couple of cataracts that may affect the eyes. Majorly, we can classify them by the cause, then examine what type of surgery you need to correct them effectively.

Age-related cataracts

The most common type of cataracts is related to the patient’s age. Later, he notices this cloudy lens due to an accumulation of a whiteish substance on the lens. Therefore, there is more likelihood of experiencing cataracts the older you get.

Cataracts due to another condition

Cataracts can sometimes develop in the eyes from entirely different conditions. This condition may be less common in some cases but can be related to diabetes or drug and alcohol abuse. As a result of these conditions, the patient may have short-sightedness or even develop cataracts in the eye lens.

Congenital cataracts

A cataract may be from birth or could develop during the formative years of one’s childhood. The common cases of cataracts are in older people above the age of 50. Still, records have shown occurrence in children as well. These occurrences of cataracts in children may be due to some infection in the womb or chromosomes.


A traumatic incident or injury to the eye may lead to the formation of cataracts. Such rare cases still exist where electric shocks or automobile accidents can cause cataracts. Cataract surgery is the solution to correcting the cloudy vision on the natural lens of your eye. Also, the cataract surgeon uses the new artificial lens in place of the infected eye.

Can we prevent cataracts?

There is hardly any way to prevent cataracts related to age or congenital causes. As we grow older, there is a risk of having cataracts at one stage or the other. Anyone with it will have to find one way or another to deal with it. However, no matter the cause of cataracts, the standard method to cure it is by cataract surgery to remove it. The reason is that this eye defect can interfere with your daily life, and the sooner you remove it, the better the effect.

The Three major types of Cataracts in detail

Cataract surgery removes cataracts from the eyes, usually by replacing the entire natural eye lens with an artificial lens. Three major types of cataract surgery are available today. Each involves removing the opaque lens and implanting an artificial lens on the infected eyes.

After undergoing these processes, you should start seeing again within 24 to 48 hours. Also, it would help if you gradually introduce your eyes to bright lights. But you can begin to distinguish colors that initially appear blurry and dull. Let us look at each of the three types of cataract surgery.

Phacoemulsification (Phaco) or Small Incision Cataracts Surgery (SICS)

Phaco is the modern cataract surgery method involving making a small incision on the cornea. Then the eye surgeon uses high-frequency ultrasound to break up cataracts into small pieces and suck them off. The surgeon delivers the ultrasound into the eyes with a handpiece, which helps to separate and dissolve the natural lens. Afterward, the broken lens is removed by a gentle suction from the eyes

The eye surgeon then inserts a specialized artificial lens implant known as an intraocular lens (IOL) to replace the natural lens. The surgeon then closes up the incision and seals the opening. Phaco requires no stitches due to the tiny incisions, which last only about 10 to 15 minutes. In addition, patients will get eye drops and a protective shield to enhance recovery.

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataracts Surgery (FLACS)

The manual steps in cataract surgery can also be done with a laser. For instance, the laser can help with the initial incision on the eyes, the opening up of the lens capsule, and the dissection of the lens. However, the laser option of cataract surgery can be more expensive because of the use of a laser. There is also evidence that FLACS is more effective for mature and advanced cases of cataracts. In addition, it could reduce the amount of phase energy required for surgery.

However, there is no consistent proof that FLACS cause fewer complications, better vision, or faster recovery. The eventual outcome of your cataract surgery is significant as a result of the skill and experience of your eye surgeon. FLACS is also an evolving process that could be more effective in the future.

Extracapsular Cataract Surgery

If ultrasound cataract surgery fails to break your cataracts, the eye surgeon may recommend extracapsular surgery. This surgery is not a common type but deals with bigger cataract stages. First, the surgeon makes a small incision on the outer edges of your cornea to open the capsule front that holds the eye lens.

The cataract can be removed as a whole because of its advanced level. In addition, the doctor uses gentle suction to remove the remaining particles. However, a variant of the process, an intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE), may be required. ICCE requires making a relatively bigger incision due to a person who suffered a trauma leading to a cataract.

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