All cataract surgeries consist of removing the old vision-obscuring natural lens, though the exact technique used by a cataract surgeon depends on multiple factors. While older techniques such as intracapsular and extracapsular cataract surgery have utility in special situations, they are rarely performed these days.
By far, the most common type of surgery performed by board certified Dr. Brierly and most modern surgeons is called phacoemulsification. Also known as “phaco,” this type of cataract surgery breaks up the damaged cataract into little pieces which are then sucked out. Sometimes laser can be used to assist with part of the surgery in a two-step process, but phaco is still used to complete the rest of the procedure. After the old lens is removed, the clear intraocular lens (IOL) is placed in the newly created space.
Eye drops are often used for 2-4 weeks after cataract surgery to quiet inflammation and prevent infection, though some patients dislike using drops or have difficulty instilling them. Fortunately, Copper Eye Surgery offers a “dropless” cataract surgery option. This approach consists of leaving antibiotics directly inside the eye during the surgery and depositing a sustained release anti-inflammatory medication around the eye.
Dropless cataract surgery eliminates the need for patients to use medicated drops after their procedure, since the medication is delivered directly to the site during surgery. Dropless cataract surgery has been well documented to have a very low risk of post-operative infection. If you are interested in the dropless option, be sure to mention it during the consultation with Dr. Brierly.