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Having Cataract Surgery? Here’s What to Expect

December 27, 2021

Almost four million cataract procedures are done in the United States every year. The treatment involves removing an eye’s cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear intraocular lens (IOL). 

We at the office of Brook Plaza Ophthalmology are experts at providing all aspects of eye care. In addition to our high-quality, comprehensive services, we have created a welcoming, patient-focused environment in which everyone feels at ease. 

Though the thought of needing cataract surgery might make you feel a bit uneasy, know that it takes about an hour and is practically painless. Here’s what to expect. 

You’ll be given an oral medication or a mild IV solution to help you relax, drops will dilate your pupils, and other kinds of drops will numb your eye. You’ll be aware of lights or motion but not of what the ophthalmologist is doing. 

There are two types of incisions: phacoemulsification and extracapsular. For the first one, the ophthalmologist cuts a small opening in your cornea (the clear covering over your eye) and uses a tiny tool that emits sound waves to break up the collection of proteins that make up the cloud. A minute vacuum removes the protein fragments, and the IOL is inserted. The incision is so small that it doesn’t require stitches. 

For the second type, the ophthalmologist makes a larger incision so he (or she) can take out the lens in one piece. The extracapsular is used when the cataract is so cloudy that it’s tough to break up the cloud of proteins. He may then use phacoemulsification to clear away any remaining pieces of the lens. The IOL is inserted. In special cases, a laser will be used in place of a scalpel. 

After a half-hour in a recovery room, the ophthalmology team will ensure there are no post-op complications. A friend or relative will have to drive you home. Your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable and be sensitive to light and touch, but it will feel better after a day or two. 


Brook Plaza Ophthalmology’s elite team of professionals has the ability, focus and flexibility to demonstrate unparalleled knowledge. Our high-tech, cutting-edge diagnostic equipment will give us an overall view of the health of every aspect of your eyes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.