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Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery

L: Vision before cataracts (simulated)R: vision after cataracts (simulated)
L:Vision before cataracts (simulated)R: Vision after cataracts & halo effect (simulated)

What is A Cataract Surgery?

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A cataract is the clouding of the crystalline lens in the eye that may cause the blurring of vision.

“In Singapore, the percentage of elderly patients affected by cataracts is about 78.6%. The number of people affected by cataracts also increases as they get older (It affects 63.6% of people between 60 and 64 years, and 94.6% of people 75 years and older.)”* Learn more about cataracts here.

*Source: Ho T, Law NM, Goh LG, Yoong T. Eye diseases in the elderly in Singapore. Singapore Med J 1997; 38:149-55

A cataract surgery is a 2-step process:
The first step is to remove the cloudy lens using ultrasound
The second step is to insert an intraocular lens (IOL), an artificial lens, to replace the natural lens.

Cataract removal is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures. Through the insertion of the IOL, cataract surgery can also treat myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Dr Lee Hung Ming is an experienced surgeon in Singapore who has performed over 20,000 procedures to date.

Alternative Treatments

Currently, there are no alternative treatments that can cause a cataract to disappear once it has formed. It is important to note that neither diet nor lasers can make a cataract go away.

Am I a suitable candidate for a Cataract surgery?

People with systemic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart diseases are usually suitable to undergo a cataract surgery. It is important to inform the surgeon of the medications that the patient is taking as certain medications may affect the surgery.

For people who have undergone previous eye surgeries such as LASIK, retinal detachment, glaucoma treatments and eyelid surgeries are also usually suitable to undergo a cataract surgery. The patient should inform the doctor of all pre-existing eye conditions during the initial consultation session.

What are the Possible Side Effects and Complications?

Cataract surgeries can potentially be 95-99% uncomplicated under the hands of a competent and experienced surgeon. Some rare occurrences of complications are cystoid macular oedema, bleeding at the back of the eye, posterior capsule rupture, endophthalmitis, retinal detachment and glaucoma. For eyes with pre-existing diseases which have caused irreversible damage to the vision, a cataract surgery may remove the cloudy natural lens but will not restore vision to 6/6. Some examples of these eye problems are macular degeneration, retinal hole, glaucoma, corneal scarring and ambylopia. About 30% of patients may develop a posterior capsular opacity (PCO) after a cataract surgery which may appear as soon as after 1 month or after many years. This is also sometimes called a secondary cataract. It is important to note that a cataract does not grow again after an initial cataract surgery. PCO causes hazy vision with occasional glare effects. It occurs due to protein deposition on the posterior surface of the capsular bag which contains the intraocular lens. This deposition reduces clarity of vision and can be easily removed with a YAG-laser capsulotomy. This laser needs to be applied for only one session and is rather quick and painless. Some cataract patients enjoy clear vision for many years without encountering a PCO.

Types of Cataract Treatments

The older methods of cataract removal are extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) and intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE). More recently, phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation has become a popular choice for surgeons due to faster healing and less incidences of complications. The corneal incision can be made as small as 2.2-1.8mm which will heal without any stitching.

The video above shows the cataract surgery

What are the types of intraocular lenses (IOLs) available?

A multifocal IOL
Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre Cataract Surgery IOL Implant Monofocal
A monofocal IOL

Monofocal IOLs

Lens with one focal point. Some patients may require glasses for certain activities. Provides comparatively sharper vision.

Suitable for people who:
– Are particular about visual clarity
– Are particular about glares & halos (eg. for night driving)
– Require sharp near vision (reading, art & craft, sewing, etc.)

Multifocal IOLs

Lens with two focal points – near and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, and loss of contrast.

Trifocal IOLs

Lens with three focal points – near, intermediate and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, but less than multifocal IOLs.

Extended Range of Vision IOLs

Lens with two focal points – intermediate and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, but less than multifocal & trifocal IOLs.

Multifocal, trifocal, and extended range of vision IOLs are suitable for people who want the freedom to do daily activities without the need for glasses

The Cataract Surgery Process

Cataract First Visit
  • Patients will undergo a series of eye tests to detect the presence and severity of cataracts
  • If treatment is required, patients will undergo further tests (cataract workout)
Cataract Workout
  • Blood pressure & electrocardiogram (ECG) tests will be conducted before surgery
  • Dr Lee will discuss the IOL options with patients according to their requirements and lifestyles
  • Patients will be scheduled for surgery (Mon-Fri mornings)
Cataract Surgery
  • The surgery usually takes around 15-20 minutes per eye
  • A cataract surgery is done as a day surgery and the patient may go home after 3-4 hours’ rest
  • Most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day

Book a Cataract Appointment

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to contact us at 6470 3366 or