Phacoemulsification cataract surgery
Was introduced in 1967 by Charles D.Kelman, an American ophthalmologist ( 1930-2004 ). Phaco surgery is a procedure in which the natural lens, clouded by a cataract, is broken up by ultrasound, irrigated and suctioned out (aspiration).
Cataract surgery by phacoemulsification has gained in popularity in recent years and is now the preferred form of cataract surgery.
Although the ophthalmic phaco procedure has been available to us for a long time, recent advances and refinements in phaco system and micro-surgical instruments have made the phaco procedure safe and more effective than previously.
The new cold phacoemulsification technology reduces risk for patients and may enable better recovery.
Cold phaco systems offer new capabilities that allow surgeons to move up to the next step in cataract surgery, bi-manual micro-incision phaco surgery.
The technique of phaco surgery
The technique of phacoemulsification surgery utilizes a small incision.
The tip of the U/S hand piece instrument is introduced into the eye through this small incision.
Localized high frequency waves are generated through this tip to break the cataract into very tiny fragments and pieces, which are then sucked out through the same tip in a controlled manner.
A thin 'capsule' or shell is left behind after cleaning up of the entire opaque catarac
The incision size for phaco surgery
The incision size for phaco surgery is 2.2 mm, however foldable IOLs are in the market which can be inserted through a 1.6 – 2.2 mm incision.
The advantages of phaco surgery
The advantage of cataract surgery by phacoemulsification is the insertion of the intraocular lens through a small incision, which is self-sealing. After cataract surgery is performed, the wound is more stable and wound complications are minimized.
Benefits for patients
Cataract surgery by phacoemulsification procedure and foldable intraocular lenses makes its treatment very comfortable for patients. The patients can resume their normal activity faster as compared to conventional extra capsular extraction (ECCE) cataract eye surgery using sutures.
The wound heals faster and more predictable and compared to conventional surgery less follow up visits for checkups are required. Because of the small incision, the use of sutures is not required, the cornea does not get distorted and risk of significant astigmatism is minimized.