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The clinical procedure for cataract surgery


Pre-anaesthetic consultation

A few days or week before the procedure, you will attend a pre-anaesthetic consultation. The anaesthesiologist will assess your clinical condition, medical history and risks in relation to the different types of anaesthesia, surgery and treatments you are undergoing. At the Donate Vision Clinic, we insist that the anaesthesiologist you see during this consultation is the one who will be present during your intervention.

What can I expect during the cataract operation?

Before the procedure

Cataract surgery is generally performed in an outpatient setting : the person arrives in the morning, is operated on and can leave the same day, if accompanied. On the day of the surgery, as soon as you arrive at the clinic, you will receive premedication. You will change into sterile clothing for the operating room.

During your intervention

The operation takes place in the lying-down position.

We will recommend the approriate type of anaesthesia :

- Neuroleptanalgesia : a method of anaesthesia which combines an analgesic (drug acting against pain) and a neuroleptic (drug having a sedative action on the nervous system) which allows you to be completely relaxed and to feel no pain.

- Thorough local anaesthesia

- General anaesthesia

In all cases, the anaesthesiologist will be present at all times of the procedure to ensure maximum safety.

After anaesthesia and after applying strict antiseptic regulations, a blepharostat (retractor) will be put in place to spread your eyelids. It is not painful.

The operation takes place under a microscope.

The surgeon makes two small incisions on the periphery of the cornea (1,5 mm). He will insert an infusion cannula that pushes on the posterior capsule throughout the surgery to prevent it from tearing. He will then open the anterior capsule to access the lens nucleus and thanks to a small ultrasound probe (phakoemulsifier), he will be able to fragment and aspirate the lens nucleus. The capsular bag is then meticulously polished because the more transparent it is, the better the view afterwards. The capsular bag having been cleaned, the implant can now be inserted.

Placed in an injection cartridge, the implant is introduced into the capsular bag using an injector. Composed of a very flexible material, the rolled-up implant unfolds. The surgeon places it in the capsular bag, aligns it according to the patient's astigmatism and centres it on the visual axis thanks to an imaging system integrated into the microscope. Due to the very small incisions, there are no stiches needed.

Antibiotics are injected into the eye and an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory ointment is put on the eye.

A transparent shell is placed over the eye to protect it. You can see through it.

The operation takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes and is completely painless.

After your procedure 

You will leave the clinic a few hours later. It will be necessary to have someone accompany you because it is advisable to rest with your eyes closed for the first few hours following the procedure.

Your vision will still be blurred but you will be able to see enough to move.

You will start taking the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment as directed on the prescription and you will continue this treatment for two months.

Depending on the cataract you had and on the surgery you have had, your vision may be a bit blurry the next day, but then you will gradually regain clear vision. On average, it takes a week or so to regain clear vision. However, do not worry if it takes a little longer as there may be a small corneal edema (swelling) which will alter the time for visual recovery. Other variations to recovery time may be the density of your lens, if you have a large cataract for example, and the quality and number of endothelial cells, which vary greatly from person to person.

You will follow "the precautions to be taken following the cataract operation" that you can find on the site.

You will be seen by the doctor in a programmed manner : 

- the day after the operation

- a week post-operative

- at one month post-operative

- at one year post-operative

You can of course make contact at any time if you feel a particular pain or unexplained redness.


Please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be delighted to answer all of your questions.