Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

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Intro To Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Intro To Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Cataracts are a major eye problem that needs serious treatment to prevent unwanted complications. For this reason, we use phacoemulsification technology, which becomes the most commonly performed treatment to treat cataracts. Phacoemulsification (phaco) is a type of cataract surgery that uses foldable intraocular lenses (IOL) implants to restore full and clear vision that has been compromised by cataracts. During the procedure, your ophthalmologist removes the damaged lens using an ultrasonic probe and replaces it with a folded lens implant. This method is not a new invention. In fact, scientists first developed this method in the late sixties, and it became popular in the early eighties of the last century.

Benefits of Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Phacoemulsification carries a lot of potential benefits for people who suffer from cataracts, including:

Benefits of Phacoemulsification (Phaco)
  • 1Improve visual acuity, which you need for driving and handling complicated equipment
  • 2Improve cataract symptoms, such as diplopia, blurred vision, and photophobia
  • 3Treat any kind of cataract, including brown cataracts, mature cataracts, and traumatic cataracts
  • 4Allow you to perform daily tasks that were impacted by poor vision and cataracts
  • 5Get a very effective treatment with little risk and a high success rate

Candidates for Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

You must first find a skilled ophthalmologist with the right credentials and experience doing such surgeries. They may prepare you for phacoemulsification by:

 Candidates for Phacoemulsification (Phaco)
  • 1Assess your eye and the condition of your intraocular lens.
  • 2Instruct you to stop taking certain medications before surgery.
  • 3Provide you with certain eye drops to prevent infection.

Steps of Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Phacoemulsification is usually performed in an outpatient facility, and ophthalmologists often need between 15-1 hours to complete the surgery. The steps include:

1. Anesthesia

1. Anesthesia

Your ophthalmologist will use topical anesthesia or provide you with local anesthesia by injecting a numbing drug around your eye.

2. Incision Making

2. Incision Making

Your ophthalmologist makes a small incision at the edge of the cornea to create an opening in the membrane that surrounds the lens.

3. Break the Cloudy Lens

3. Break the Cloudy Lens

To break the cloudy lens into fragments, your ophthalmologist will insert a small ultrasonic probe that vibrates at ultrasonic speed.

4. Suction the Fragments

4. Suction the Fragments

There is an attachment on the probe tip that will suction the fragments out of the eye.

5. Implant the Intraocular Lens

5. Implant the Intraocular Lens

Finally, your ophthalmologist will implant an intraocular lens (IOL) and places it in the natural position inside the eye. They commonly insert it through a tiny corneal incision.

Recovery After Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Phacoemulsification usually doesn’t require a hospital stay, and the incision made in the cornea doesn’t require stitches as it heals on its own within a few days. In any case, the recovery phase may involve the following:

Recovery After Phacoemulsification (Phaco)
  • 1Take eye drops that contain antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
  • 2Avoid rubbing your eyes or getting water or soap directly in your eyes.
  • 3Wear eyeglasses to protect your eyes from external or environmental pollutants.
  • 4Wear a protective eye shield, especially during the night.
  • 5Expect immediate vision improvement after the surgery.

Risks of Phacoemulsification (Phaco)

Phacoemulsification is a safe procedure that can improve most patients’ vision and boost their quality of life. However, risks and potential side effects are still possible in some cases, and include:

Risks of Phacoemulsification (Phaco)
  • 1Pain, redness, or eye infection
  • 2Swollen cornea
  • 3Swollen retina
  • 4Retinal detachment
  • 5Blurred vision
  • 6Dislocation of intraocular lens
  • 7The appearance of cyst-like swellings on the macula
  • 8Glaucoma

Often, ophthalmologists suggest phacoemulsification to people who have a cataractous lens that causes poor visual acuity. Thus, you will be an ideal candidate for phacoemulsification if you have cataracts without other medical conditions. People with diabetes are at risk if decided to undergo this surgery.

In most cases, vision improves after about 3 -5 days of the surgery.

Usually, cataracts do not return after the surgery.

– In rare cases, blood leakage from the blood vessels of the retina may occur. – This leakage may impair the vision, but the doctor can treat this problem by prescribing some eye drops as a preventive measure. – Therefore, recovery from the surgery takes a few weeks or months. – Usually, this problem improves completely with eye drops, but in a few cases, the patient may need a steroid injections behind the eye to recover from these leakages.

– This is often the result of local anesthesia and not the result of the surgery itself. – The doctor may, in rare cases, prescribe eye drops and anti-inflammatories to treat such symptoms.

During the first week after the surgery, the eye may continue to produce excessive tears as tears help protect the surface of the eye after the surgery. In other words, the body may produce more tears in an attempt to help the eye recover.



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