Advances in Cataract Surgery

Majed Alkharashi; Walter J Stark; Yassine J Daoud


Expert Rev Ophthalmol. 2013;8(5):447-456. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Recent advances in cataract surgery have increased the safety and efficacy of this common procedure. Cataract surgery has evolved from 'couching' with sub-optimal results to phacoemulsification with excellent results. Introduction of the femtosecond laser into cataract surgery may further the safety and predictability of this procedure. In addition, innovations in intraocular lens material have enabled the surgery to be done through a small incision with quicker recovery and more predictable refractive outcome. New intraocular lens design technologies have helped patients minimize their need for glasses at most distances. Further, invention of ophthalmic viscosurgical devices reduced the risk of endothelial decompensation and corneal edema. These innovations have transformed the goal of cataract surgery from purely visual rehabilitation to a refractive procedure as well.


Cataract is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed operations in the world. Cataracts affect more than 20 million Americans older than 40 years. By 2020, more than 30 million Americans will have visually significant cataract and 9.5 million are expected to have pseudophakia or aphakia.[1] Advancements in phacoemulsification and intraocular lens (IOL) technology have ushered in a new era of cataract surgery. Innovations in IOL design and phacoemulsification instrumentation have potentiated improved surgical outcomes, reduced perioperative morbidity and increased likelihood of spectacle independence. As a result, surgeons are attaining unprecedented safety, efficiency and precision. The breakthrough of new technology is paralleled by patients' heightened expectations from cataract surgery. In this new era, many patients arrive to their appointment well-researched and prepared with anticipation of exceptional postoperative visual acuity, both near and distance, without correction.[2]