Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed operations around the world. First, the surgeon will create an incision in the cornea. This incision is just large enough to pass the surgical instruments through. Following the incision, the surgeon will gently peel off the front layer of the lens. This will allow access to the inner areas of the lens where the cataract has formed. Next, the surgeon will use a tool to break up the cataract into smaller segments. As the cataract is divided into segments, the surgeon will vacuum the smaller fragments out of the remaining, good lens. Once the cataract has been removed, a replacement lens is then inserted into the capsular bag, where the natural lens used to be. In most cases, this is an intraocular lens, which is foldable and slips in through the tiny incision. Because the incision is so small, it is often watertight and does not require any sutures, particularly if a foldable lens has been used.
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