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Traditional Cataract Surgery

Traditional cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the world. 

If you have been diagnosed with a cataract and need surgical treatment, you may choose from two types of surgery, traditional cataract surgery or laser cataract surgery. In either case, your Henry Ford cataract surgeon will:

  • Make sure you understand every step of the process
  • Take into account your medical history, including any pre-existing medical conditions and medications
  • Review the surgery and your options for your replacement lens

Before traditional cataract surgery

Before surgery, your cataract surgeon will perform tests to measure the size and shape of your eye, and the curvature of your cornea. This information helps your care team prepare for your surgery and determine which replacement lens is best for you.

What happens during traditional cataract treatment?

The surgery typically takes less than 30 minutes and consists of several steps:

  • Medicated drops are applied to keep your pupil fully dilated during the procedure and to help prevent infection and inflammation
  • Your eye is numbed with topical anesthetic drops
  • An anesthesiologist usually is present during surgery to give sedation as needed, ensure patient comfort and monitor vital signs
  • The surgeon will make a small incision, and insert a probe the size of a pen tip to break apart and suction out the old lens
  • A replacement lens is implanted in your eye

What can I expect after surgery?

Your eye surgeon will provide you with instructions for your recovery. In addition:

  • For a few days following surgery, you will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye
  • You may experience itching, mild discomfort or sensitivity
  • Your care team will schedule follow-up exams to monitor your progress
  • In most cases, healing will be complete within two to four weeks

At Henry Ford, patients come first.

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology is committed to providing our patients with the most advanced treatments in eye care and is dedicated to vision research  – always staying at the forefront of innovation. A leader in Michigan, as well as one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States, we treat more than 55,000 patients per year at 12 locations throughout southeast Michigan. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it.

To schedule an appointment with a Henry Ford Ophthalmologist, please call
1-800-363-7575 or submit our appointment form.

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