When cataracts reach the stage where they are seriously decreasing an individual's vision, cataract surgery is called for. In this common procedure, the doctor removes the natural lens in the patient's eye, which is replaced by a permanent lens implant. The implant is made specifically to fit the patient's prescription and eye length for each eye.
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and requires no stitches; patients go home the same day. About one week prior to the surgery, the patient undergoes pre-operative testing, including a blood test and electrocardiogram. After the surgery, the patient must wear an eye patch for the first 24 hours. Eye drops to prevent eye infection are required for the complete 2-4 week recover period. Cataract surgery is performed on only one eye at a time.
In rare cases, the skin of the cataract, which is left in the eye, can cause cloudiness of vision after the surgery. If this occurs, the cloudiness can be removed using a laser treatment.