Cataract Surgery: Overview

  • Cataract surgery involves removing the eye’s cloudy lens (located at the front of the eye) and replacing it with an artificial, clear lens. Most cataract surgeries are highly successful in restoring vision and improving other symptoms related to cataracts (i.e., decreased vision followed by decreased contrast vision–requiring more light to read). While effective and a relatively quick, painless, and low-risk surgery, there is a preparatory and recovery process involved. In addition, as with any surgery, there are potential complications to be knowledgeable about.

Close-up of surgeon performing cataract surgery
MedicImage / Getty Images

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is an elective surgical procedure performed by an ophthalmologist (an eye specialist) in an outpatient surgical center or in hospital.

During cataract surgery, a patient’s cloudy lens is broken into pieces and removed. The surgeon then replaces the removed lens with an artificial one called an intraocular implant, or IOL.

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Article Submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Volunteer