Cataract surgery has come a long way over the decades, and is now one of the most commonly performed procedures in the world. Improvements in surgical techniques and lens replacement technology have transformed cataract surgery, and they continue to evolve to this day.
According to Unite for Sight, cataract surgery permits millions of people to improve and recover their vision each year. But cataract surgery wasn’t always as safe and easy as it has become in recent years. Here’s how the procedure has evolved over time:
In ancient times, cataracts were treated with a technique called Couching, in which a curved needle was used to dislocate the cataract lens and push it back into the eye. This procedure was only performed when the lens had become completely opaque, and – at best – could restore limited, completely unfocused vision.
Rather than breaking up the cataracts, Cataract Extraction surgery allowed the lens to be removed completely from the eye. This technique was first performed successfully in 1750 by the French ophthalmologist Jacques Daviel. Extraction marked the first major advancement in cataract surgery since Couching.
In 1949, Harold Ridley advanced cataract surgery even further by introducing the implantation of the Intraocular Lens. Ridley’s technique made the rehabilitation period much shorter and more comfortable for patients.
The Intraocular Lens proved to be a major factor in changing the way Ophthalmology is practiced, even today.
Finally, in 1967, Charles Kelman introduced phacoemulsification, “a technique that uses ultrasonic waves to emulsify the nucleus of the crystalline lens in order to remove the cataracts without a large incision.”
This new method of surgery decreased the need for an extended hospital stay and made the surgery far less painful. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), “Over 85 percent of all cataract surgery in the United States and the United Kingdom is now performed using phacoemulsification.”
Technical advancements and revolutionary tools have indisputably transformed cataract surgery for the better. Throughout time, cataract surgery has become an extremely, safe, quick and easy procedure. If you suspect you are developing cataracts, you should seek treatment right away. An ophthalmologist can diagnose you and help you take the steps to restore your vision.
Dr. Reuther of Carolina Eyecare Physicians of Summerville, South Carolina offers consultative Ophthalmology services and surgical treatment for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and more.
To learn more about Dr. Reuther, or to set up an initial consultation, call Carolina Eyecare Physicians today at 843-873-5577 or visit them online.