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Small-Incision Cataract Surgery: Removing the Old Lens

Cross section of eye showing instrument removing lens

You may be surprised by how little time small-incision cataract surgery takes.

The procedure

Your surgeon uses a microscope and tiny tools to make the incision and remove the old lens. A special tool breaks apart the old lens with sound waves (ultrasound) and then takes out the pieces. This process is called phacoemulsification. The natural membrane (capsule) that held your lens is left in place. Your old lens will then be replaced with a clear artificial lens.

Incision size

A smaller incision may mean a shorter recovery time for you. The location of the incision will vary.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2020
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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