How Are Cataracts Removed?


Approximately 21 million American adults have cataracts – a progressive clouding of the lens that can lead to loss of vision. Dr. Kessler is a highly skilled cataract surgeon who has helped thousands of patients with cataracts regain their vision.

Cataracts are removed using a special ultrasonic probe which breaks up and gently vacuums out the cloudy (cataract) lens. A common misconception is that a laser is used to remove a cataract. After the cataract is removed a a new soft acrylic lens is inserted to restore the proper focus to the eye.
This modern approach requires no suture for the very small incision, and the surgery takes about 10 to 12 minutes to complete.

A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina. Aging and other factors cause proteins in the eye’s lens to clump together forming these cloudy areas. Early changes may not disturb vision, but over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. People with progressed cataracts often say they feel as if they’re looking through a waterfall or a piece of wax paper.

Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. As a result, you may not notice signs or changes in your vision right away when cataracts first develop.

Age-related cataracts are divided into three main types, depending on their location.

Nuclear cataracts form in the middle of the lens and cause the nucleus, in the center, to become yellow or brown.

Cortical cataracts are wedge-shaped and form around the edges of the nucleus.

Posterior capsular cataracts form faster than the other two types and affect the back of the lens.

Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
  • More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Faded or yellowed colors
  • The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Double vision within one eye

Cataract Surgery Details

Alcon_CenturionWith Alcon’s new Centurion system, cataract surgeons now have an even safer, gentler, more accurate way of removing cataracts.

Ultrasonic phacoemulsification is the “gold standard” for cataract surgery. In phacoemulsification surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into a very small incision on the edge of the eye. This probe gently breaks the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and suctions the cataract out of the eye.

The Centurion offers a new method that uses both ultrasound and mechanical oscillation to help break up the cataract faster, and allows the surgeon greater control of lens tissue than traditional ultrasound.
Dr. Kessler offers no-stitch, small incision cataract surgery to residents of Carroll County and surrounding areas using the new Centurion system. This advanced procedure holds several benefits over conventional forms of cataract surgery. With the no-stitch procedure, patients experience less discomfort, recover more quickly, achieve improved vision more rapidly, and are less likely to incur surgically induced astigmatism than with other forms of cataract surgery.

Dr. Kessler begins the procedure by applying a local anesthetic to the eye. There is no injection. A small incision, about 1/6 of an inch wide, is then made in the sclera (the white portion of the eye). The cloudy cataract lens is dissolved using the Alcon Infiniti Phacoemulsificator. After the cataract is removed, a folded intra-ocular lens (IOL) is inserted through the micro-incision, then unfolded and locked into permanent position. The small incision is self-sealing and usually requires no stitches. This type of incision heals quickly and provides a much more comfortable recuperation. The new lens will restore the function of a healthy, natural lens. The entire procedure lasts around 15 minutes, and because of the way the incision is made, the eye can heal without the need for stitches.

Standard Cataract Surgery includes the placement of a standard lens implant to restore brightness, color and clarity to images degraded by slow, progressive cataract formation. This procedure enables you to see distance, but reading glasses or glasses to correct astigmatism will still be required.

Advanced Refractive Cataract Surgery includes special lens implants and refractive technology to restore distance, near and intermediate distance. Designed to mimic the eye’s natural ability to focus on distant, middle and near objects, new lens-implant technologies are used in conjunction with standard cataract extraction methods to help restore a full range of functional vision, from distance to reading vision with total independence from glasses or contact lenses in most cases. “Most of our patients can see to shop, read newspapers and use computers without depending on glasses following surgery,” states Dr. Kessler. Advanced Refractive Cataract Surgery is an excellent investment in your vision.