Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Ultrasound phacoemulsification

What is ultrasound phacoemulsification?

Ultrasound phacoemulsification is the most frequent surgical technique to treat cataracts. Ultrasounds are used to fragment the opaque content of the lens so that it can be aspirated later.

After removing it, an intraocular lens is placed to replace this lens, to avoid the use of thick glasses.

In which cases is it done?

Cataract surgery is scheduled when it produces a decrease in vision that interferes with the patient’s activities of daily living. On occasions, this surgery can also be performed in order to treat some refractive pathology (such as myopia (nearsighted), high hyperopia or presbyopia), since with the implantation of an intraocular lens, patients can do without glasses or contact lenses.

Previous exams

During the intervention A complete ophthalmological examination must be carried out, which allows to identify the type of cataract, its size and location, assess surgery and make a prognosis.

The patient can be subjected to different tests that consist of a visual acuity test, examination of the fundus, ocular pressure measurement and biometry.

Sometimes an optical coherence tomography (oct) can be performed, which allows mapping and measuring the thickness of the macula. It is very useful for diabetic or amd patients, and in general, for monitoring all those operated on.

During the intervention

Cataract surgery is very brief, it lasts an average of about ten minutes and the patient will leave the operating room without the eye being covered and with good vision. It is performed with anaesthesia drops and the collaboration of the patient is required to maintain the gaze in the light of the microscope. In the event that this is not possible, local anaesthesia will be given around the eye and the patient must cover the eye after the intervention.

In ultrasound phacoemulsification, an incision of less than 3 millimetres is done, through which the opaque content of the lens is broken and extracted. The sack (capsule) that surrounds it is left inside the eye, and the intraocular lens is placed in it.


In the first moments after ultrasound phacoemulsification, vision will not be perfect, but the patient can lead a normal life. The preventive measures that must be taken after surgery are to avoid sudden physical exercises, not to rub your eyes, to avoid sleeping face down and to wear sunglasses.

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