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Definition: Phaco surgery, short for phacoemulsification, is a modern surgical technique used to remove a cataract from the eye. Cataracts are clouding of the eye's natural lens, leading to vision impairment. Phaco surgery employs ultrasound energy to break up the cataract and then remove it through a small incision.

What It Does: Phaco surgery aims to restore clear vision by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This procedure is minimally invasive and allows for a faster recovery compared to traditional cataract surgery methods.

Indications of Phaco Surgery Procedure

  • Indications:

    Phaco surgery is indicated for individuals with:

    • Cataracts causing blurred vision, glare, or reduced visual clarity
    • Loss of daily functioning due to cataract-related vision impairment
  • Purpose:

    The primary purposes of phaco surgery are:

    • Cataract Removal: To remove the clouded lens responsible for vision impairment.
    • Vision Improvement: To restore clear vision and enhance overall visual quality.
    • Reduced Dependence on Glasses: The choice of an appropriate IOL can reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery.

Who will treat for Phaco Surgery Procedure

  • Medical Professionals: Phaco surgery is typically performed by:
    • Ophthalmologists
    • Cataract surgeons
  • Whom to Contact:
    • Ophthalmology Clinics: Reach out to clinics or medical centers specializing in ophthalmology or cataract surgery. They can provide information and schedule consultations for phaco surgery.

Preparing for Phaco Surgery Procedure

Preparing for phaco surgery involves several steps to ensure a successful procedure and smoother recovery:

  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation with the ophthalmologist who will perform the surgery. Discuss your medical history, medications, allergies, and any concerns you may have.
  • Eye Examination: The ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to assess the cataract's severity and determine the most suitable IOL for you.
  • Medication Review: Inform the medical team about any medications you're taking, especially blood thinners or anticoagulants, as they might need to be adjusted before the surgery.
  • Fasting: You might be instructed to fast before the surgery to ensure an empty stomach.
  • Arrangements: Arrange for transportation to and from the clinic or hospital on the day of the surgery, as your vision might be temporarily affected.
  • Eye Drops: Follow the instructions regarding any prescribed eye drops to prepare the eye for surgery.
  • Consent: Understand and sign the informed consent form, which outlines the procedure, potential risks, and benefits.
  • Questions: Prepare any questions you have about the procedure, the choice of IOL, and post-surgery care to discuss with your ophthalmologist.

What Happens During Phaco Surgery

During a phaco surgery procedure, the following steps generally take place:

  • Preparation: You'll be positioned on an operating table, and the surgical area will be sterilized. Anesthetic eye drops will be administered to numb the eye and ensure your comfort.
  • Incision: A small incision (about 2-3 millimeters) is made in the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye. This incision allows access to the cataract-affected lens.
  • Capsulorhexis: A circular opening is created in the front capsule of the lens, which surrounds the cataract. This opening serves as a doorway for the cataract removal.
  • Phacoemulsification: An ultrasound probe is inserted through the incision. The probe emits ultrasound waves to break up the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The emulsified lens material is suctioned out through the same probe.
  • IOL Placement: An artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted into the remaining lens capsule. The IOL is carefully positioned to restore clear vision.
  • Closure: The small incision usually seals itself without the need for sutures due to its self-sealing nature. The surgical site is protected with an eye shield.
  • Observation and Recovery: You'll be monitored for a short period to ensure stability and comfort before being discharged.

Recovery After Phaco Surgery Procedure

Recovery after phaco surgery varies based on individual factors and the extent of the procedure. Here's a general outline of what to expect:

  • Observation: You might stay in a recovery area for a short time to ensure there are no immediate complications.
  • Discharge: Once stable, you'll be allowed to go home with specific post-operative instructions.
  • Eye Shield: An eye shield might be provided to protect the operated eye from accidental injury and to prevent rubbing.
  • Eye Drops: You'll receive a schedule for prescribed eye drops to prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
  • Follow-Up: Your ophthalmologist will schedule a follow-up appointment to assess your progress, remove any sutures (if used), and monitor your healing.
  • Activity Restrictions: You might be advised to avoid activities that could strain or irritate the eye, such as strenuous exercise and swimming.

Lifestyle Changes After Phaco Surgery Procedure

  • Eye Care: Follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your ophthalmologist to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of infection.
  • Avoid Rubbing: Avoid rubbing or putting pressure on the operated eye to prevent complications.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from bright sunlight or harsh lights by wearing sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Avoid Dust and Irritants: Keep the eye clean and avoid exposure to dust, smoke, and other irritants that might cause discomfort.
  • Medication Adherence: Follow the prescribed medication regimen, especially the use of eye drops, to support healing and prevent complications.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay well-hydrated and maintain a balanced diet to support overall healing and recovery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.Is phaco surgery safe?

Phaco surgery is generally considered safe when performed by experienced ophthalmologists.

2. Does phaco surgery hurt?

Local anesthesia and sedation are used to keep you comfortable during the procedure, and you should not feel pain.

3. How long does phaco surgery take?

The surgery itself typically takes about 15-30 minutes, but the overall time at the facility might be longer due to preparation and recovery.

4. Will I need glasses after phaco surgery?

The choice of IOL can reduce your dependence on glasses, but you might still need glasses for activities like reading or driving.

5. When can I resume normal activities after phaco surgery?

Your ophthalmologist will provide guidelines based on your individual healing progress.

6. Can I drive after phaco surgery?

You might be advised not to drive immediately after surgery due to temporary vision changes.

7. Can I shower after phaco surgery?

You might be advised to avoid getting water or soap in the operated eye for a certain period.

8. Will my vision improve immediately after phaco surgery?

Your vision might be blurry initially, but it should improve over the days and weeks following surgery.

9. Can I rub my eye after phaco surgery?

Avoid rubbing or pressing on the operated eye to prevent complications.

10. Can I watch TV or use a computer after phaco surgery?

You can gradually resume such activities, but remember to take breaks and not strain your eyes.

11. Will my eye color change after phaco surgery?

Phaco surgery does not affect the color of your eyes.

12. Are there any risks associated with phaco surgery?

Possible risks include infection, bleeding, retinal detachment, and rare complications. Discuss potential risks with your ophthalmologist.

13. Can I undergo phaco surgery in both eyes simultaneously?

Some individuals undergo surgery on both eyes in separate sessions, typically a few weeks apart.

14. Can phaco surgery correct presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close objects)?

Multifocal or accommodating IOLs can help correct presbyopia to some extent.

15. Can I undergo phaco surgery if I have other eye conditions?

The ophthalmologist will assess your overall eye health and determine the suitability of the procedure based on your individual situation.