Cataract Surgery and
Lens Implantation

Phacoemulsification Technique

Phacoemulsification Technique

Removing the Lens and Inserting the Artificial Lens

Diagram of the Lens CapsuleThe lens is divided into three different portions: the center part called the nucleus, the outer part called the cortex, and surrounding both of these portions is a thin transparent membrane called the lens capsule which is like a piece of saran wrap, or the outer skin of a sausage. The inner nuclear part is actually more dense than the outer, soft, cortical part.

Phacoelmulsification techniqueIn order to remove a cataract we must first create
a circular hole in the lens capsule and then take the inner nucleus of the lens out, which is soft like the inside of a sausage. The inner nucleus must be removed with a phacoemulsification machine (phaco - lens; emulsification - to liquify). This machine has a metal probe that vibrates back and forth at a high frequency in order break into tiny pieces (emulsify) the central nucleus and gently sucks (aspirates) those pieces out of the eye.

Once the central nucleus is removed, we then use other instruments to remove the softer cortex from the eye and try to polish up the capsule at the back, in order that as few cells as possible are left there. In most cases, the artificial lens (IOL) is then inserted to replace the focusing power that was lost with removal of the natural lens.

Foldable Lens in Eye

What is a Cataract        Types of Cataracts and the Symptoms         Detecting a Cataract
Cataract Treatment      How is a Cataract Removed        Phacoemulsification Technique
Intraocular Lens Implants                                Before, During, and After Cataract Surgery
When Will My Vision Return to Normal                         What is a YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Risks and Results of Cataract Surgery                                   History of Lens Implantation

For more information contact:
Dr. Murray McFadden
(BSc, MD, FRCS(C), Diplomate of the American
Board of Ophthalmology)

© Copyright 1996-2004 Murray McFadden MD, Inc.

Telephone: (604) 530-3332
Fax: (604) 535-6258
SnailMail: 20434 64th Avenue, Unit #201,
Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1N4

This page last updated on December 30, 2003.
Web Page Programmer Turnaround Type and Graphics