A Comprehensive Guide for Phaco Surgery
When your doctor tells you that you will undergo a phacoemulsification surgery what exactly does this mean? The cataractous lens needs to be removed from the eye and an artificial lens needs to be put in. This cataractous lens can be removed manually or with this latest technology of phacoemulsification.
Phaco Surgery means removal of the cataract by liquefaction of the natural lens of the eye.The word phacoemulsification is derived from the Greek word “phakos” which means lens. It is the most commonly done and latest cataract surgery technique.
This technique was first introduced in 1967 by Kelman. This technique has revolutionized the management of cataract. It has now become possible to remove the cataract with incisions as small as 2-4 mm. The use of smaller incisions and foldable lenses has led to excellent visual outcomes. The safety, efficacy and postop recovery is far better these days due to such modern techniques.
What happens during Phaco surgery?
Following risk factors may lead to cataract:
Two small incisions, around 2mm in length, are made in the clear cornea, the clear part of the eye, where it meets the white portion of the eye, called sclera.
A bent needle is then introduced into the front compartment of the eye, called anterior chamber and a circular opening is created on the lens surface or anterior capsule.
A small pen-like instrument (phaco probe) which is powered by ultrasonic energy is inserted into the eye through the cut.
Sound waves or high-frequency ultrasound waves are then used to break the cataract into small pieces by the process of emulsification.
The liquefied pieces of the cataractous lens pieces are then sucked out from the eye by the process of irrigation and aspiration.
In this process, the posterior capsule of the lens remains intact, forming the scaffold on which the artificial intraocular lens or IOL is placed.
An intraocular lens implant is placed inside the lens capsular bag, which is constituted by the posterior capsule and the remnants of the anterior capsule in which the circular opening was initially made.
Foldable intraocular lenses and other premium IOLs that are currently in use significantly shorten the time for visual recovery.
The corneal incisions are self-sealing because of their wound architecture and usually do not require stitches or sutures.
Mostly the surgery is done under topical anaesthesia so no injection is needed. But occasionally local anaesthesia or injection may be given depending on patient and doctor’s choice.
Why is it preferred over conventional cataract surgery?
In conventional cataract surgery the incision can range from 6 to 11mm. These incisiona usually require sutures. However, after the wound heals the sutures will be removed.
With large incisions the chances of astigmatism much higher in conventional cataract surgery. Whereas incisions are smaller in phacoemulsification surgery.
The visual recovery is faster in phacoemulsification cataract surgery.
There are lesser complications and rapid recovery so patients get back to routine earlier.
The safety and efficacy of the technique makes post op period very comfortable’
Chances of complications like macular edema and vitreous loss are much less.
What are the advantages?
Phacoemulsification has become the standard treatment of choice in cataract due to the following advantages:
Better visual rehabilitation: One can opt for multifocal, toric and EdOF lenses in phaco surgery. These lenses have promising results like never before.
The incision in phacoemulsification is small and does not need any stitches.
Better vision boosts the patient’s confidence
Patients are able to get back to routine very fast.
No need of injection /blocks
What are the disadvantages?
There are also a few disadvantages of this technique:
This technique is highly mechanised and needs costly instruments so it is an expensive surgery
The equipment’s used in this surgery are disposable so it adds to the cost of the surgery
Needs highly skilled and specially trained professional
Since there is no anaesthesia patient needs to cooperate and keep the eye fixed at the light
If you feel that phacoemulsification technique is expensive for you, please let us know you can choose from other cataract surgery options which are available with us.
What is critical for surgical outcomes when undergoing Phaco Surgery?
The outcomes of phacoemulsification depend on:
The condition of the eye: Your pre existing eye health is most important. The eye should be free from any other corneal, retinal disorders. If there are any associated eye diseases they will affect the quality of visual outcomes.
Choosing the best eye surgeon: The skill of the surgeon determines the success and visual outcome of phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Choose a doctor who you can easily share all your concerns.
Choosing the right lenses: The visual need of every individual are different. A driver may need better distance vision while watch maker needs better near vision. Depending on the individuals needs a range of lens options are available. The best suited to your eye care needs will be advised to you. This will ensure better visual results and less dependence on glasses after the surgery.
Choosing the best Eye Hospital: Choosing the right hospital is critical. The operation theatre must follow all aseptic precautions to prevent infections.
Indovision cataract & laser eye centre offers all the latest world class surgical procedures for cataract surgery in Pune. Most advanced techniques and guidelines are practised by our experts at affordable cost.
We are always adopting innovative technologies to deliver best eyecare. At Indovision, our highly trained ophthalmologists strive to provide sharpest vision using state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr Sarika Sethia is a Gold medallist in ophthalmology. She is also Diplomat of National Board. She has presented oral paper, posters & lectures at various national & international conferences. She has completed many fellowships & training courses in advanced cataract & laser vision correction surgeries. She has worked at post graduate institute as Assistant Professor. She is on panel of prestigious hospitals in Pune like Jehangir hospital, Sanjeevan hospital & Global hospital. Currently she is director at Indovision Cataract & Laser Eye Centre.