Phacoemulsification (Phaco = lens, emulsification)

Phacoemulsification (Phaco = lens, emulsification) or phaco as it is popularly called is a technique where the lens is broken into small pieces , emulsified and then aspirated.

The ultrasound energy is used to emulsify the cataract. A handpiece with quartz crystals is used to produce the ultrasonic energy which moves the tip of 0.9 to 1.4 mm size back and forth to hit and emulsify the cataract.

The whole procedure is performed through an incision size of 2.2 mm in the form of a self sealing tunnel which does not require any stitches for its closure. The “phaco probe” has both irrigation and aspiration through the 2.2 mm and a continuous flow of a balanced fluid goes into the eye and is aspirated out along with emulsified pieces of cataract.

EYE-DROP ANAESTHESIA FOR PHACO

THE NO-INJECTION PHACO

Anaesthetic eye drops are used prior to the procedure to numb the eye. Since phaco is a short painless procedure and there is very little handling of the eye, this no-injection eye drop anaesthesia is enough for a total comfort of the patient. One should also remember that eye drop anaesthesia is safer than injection which can cause complications like drug reaction and perforation of the eye.

THE NO-STITCH PHACO

Phacoemulsification is done with a thin probe which can enter the eye through a 2.2 mm incision. This incision is made in such a manner that a small tunnel is formed with a length of approximately 2.2 mm. The configuration of the tunnel is such that it is self sealing and does not need any stitch to keep it closed.

Best time for PHACO Cataract Surgery

Today the life style of every person is such that eyes are used extensively for reading/writing/driving during day and night/ watching television etc. and cataract surgery has become very patient friendly. The recovery is quick and discomfort is minimal. Also as the cataract “matures” , it becomes harder to emulsify with phacoemulsification.

It is therefore, advisable to get the phaco-cataract surgery done as soon as it starts interfering with their daily activities.

Precautions before & after PHACO Cataract Surgery

It is advisable to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness. No cosmetics should be used on the eye or face. There are no dietary restrictions required before or after cataract operation. Dietary restrictions for other systemic diseases should be observed. Splashing water in the eye to wash it is not to be done. Face can be washed and head bath can be taken with the eyes closed.

PHACO cataract surgery in diabetics

Control of blood sugar is essential. A post prandial blood sugar level of up to 180 mg % should be maintained before and after cataract operation.

PHACO cataract surgery in high blood pressure

Blood pressure control should be maintained with appropriate medications before/ during and after surgery.

PHACO cataract surgery in other diseases

Other diseases like Bronchial Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Dependance on steroids should be discussed and appropriate measures should be taken.

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