Cataract Removal with Lens Implant

This is surgery to remove a lens that has become cloudy and impairs your vision. A man-made lens is then inserted in its place.

This is surgery to remove a lens that has become cloudy and impairs your vision. A man-made lens is then inserted in its place.

A cataract is a cloudy area in the normally clear lens of the eye. A small cataract usually does not cause problems with your vision or cause any pain. In fact, you may not be aware that you have a cataract. However, cataracts can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with glare, especially at night
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Poor night vision
  • Fading of colors
  • Gradual lens yellowing
  • Halos around lights

Cataracts typically occur as people get older. However, they can also occur in younger adults, children and even newborns (congenital cataracts). Cataracts in infants usually require surgery. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can cause cataracts in younger adults.

Sometimes cataracts are found during a routine eye examination. Your healthcare provider may recommend removal of a cataract if your vision and level of function is affected. (If your eye doctor is not an ophthalmologist, you may be referred to a cataract surgeon.) After removal of the cloudy lens, the surgeon will insert a man-made lens in its place. This will improve the part of your vision that was affected by the cataract. A cataract removal can be done in an outpatient hospital setting or an ambulatory surgery center (ASC).

  • During the surgery, you will most likely be awake. You will receive medication to help you relax and eye drops to numb your eye.
  • Young children usually have general anesthesia. This will put them into a deep sleep where they are unable to see, hear or feel anything.
  • The cataract can be removed in one piece using suction. Ultrasound waves can also break up the lens (phacoemulsification), which makes the pieces easier to remove.

Prior to the surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before and after the surgery. These may include:

  • Medications you should not take before the surgery, such as blood thinners
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before the surgery
  • Regular medications you should take on the day of your surgery
  • Eye drops you will need to take before and after your surgery. Make sure you understand all the instructions given to you by the eye doctor.

If you are a smoker, you should quit. Smoking can interfere with your recovery.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a cataract removal and lens implant?

  • What is my diagnosis and reason for the surgery? What, if any, are alternatives to surgery for my cataracts?
  • What is likely to occur if I don't have my cataracts removed?
  • Is there any other special preparation for the surgery? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What kind of sedation will I have? What are the possible side effects?
  • What are the possible complications for this surgery?
  • How will I feel after the surgery and will I have to modify my activity?

After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication you received and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including eye drops, medications, and side effects) and follow-up plans. Do not forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.


Also known as:

Lens Implant
Cataract Surgery
Cataract Removal with Lens Implant
Cataract Removal
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