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Prima Medical Center Saigon, Cataract

Types Of Cataract Surgery – Which Is Right For You?

23 August, 2023

Cataracts are a common eye condition that typically develops as we age. However, they can occur in younger people and babies too.

Cataracts are a common eye condition that typically develops as we age. However, they can occur in younger people and babies too.

As cataracts develop in your eye, they grow over the eye’s lens, preventing light from getting in and blocking your vision. They can even change how you see colours and make the world seem clouded.

Cataracts only get worse over time, so treatment for them is essential. Surgery is the best treatment for cataracts that stop them from returning. Other non-surgical treatments may help manage your symptoms briefly, but cataracts must be removed to be treated.

There are different types of cataract surgery — but which is right for you? Discover everything you need to know about each type of cataract surgery with Eye Clinic London.


Phacoemulsification is a type of cataract surgery used to remove the clouded lens of your eye. Your eye will be numbed with a local anaesthetic so if you’re concerned about whether cataract surgery is painful, don’t worry — you won’t feel a thing throughout the procedure.

First, the ophthalmologist will expose the lens from its capsule (a thin membrane that surrounds the lens) with a small incision. They will then use high-frequency sound waves to break it up so that it turns into an emulsified mass, before flushing and vacuuming out the mass.

The machine that specialists use to perform phacoemulsification is called a phaco machine and its innovative technology ensures a high degree of accuracy. Because of this, it’s one of the most popular cataract surgeries in the world.

Once the ophthalmologist has removed the lens, they place an artificial one inside your eye’s capsule. The artificial lens can be silicone or acrylic and is called an intraocular lens (IOL). Once fully recovered, the surgery should restore your vision and you may need to update your glasses prescription.

Benefits and limitations

Phacoemulsification has many benefits, including the following:

  • It is less invasive as only a small incision is necessary — reducing recovery time and the risk of complications
  • It is quick to be performed
  • The lens capsule is kept in the eye, which provides a sturdy foundation for the new lens

However, like all types of surgery, phacoemulsification does have limitations. Sometimes, the high-frequency sound waves don’t break up the lens, or the lens may be damaged from a previous injury — making the rest of the procedure impossible.


Phacoemulsification is a relatively quick surgical procedure, taking up to 30 minutes to complete. It is also performed as an outpatient procedure. After completing it, the nurses will take you to a recovery room until the anaesthetic has worn off.

Someone must drive you home as your vision may still be slightly blurred.

Once you are resting at home, you need to take it easy for the next few weeks. It’s normal to develop bruising or burst blood vessels around your eye, but these will fade quickly. During your recovery, you must avoid any activities that could get dirt, dust or other irritants in your eyes, such as cutting the grass or going out on windy days.

You may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops for up to 10 days to avoid infections and promote healing. It can take four to six weeks for your eye to recover fully.

Phacoemulsification will not only get rid of your cataracts but also prevent them from returning.

Extracapsular cataract surgery

Extracapsular cataract surgery is used mostly when the existing cataracts are too advanced for phacoemulsification.

In this surgery type, the ophthalmologist removes the cataract as one piece instead of the emulsified mass. They then replace the lens with an IOL lens to restore your vision.

Benefits and limitations

Extracapsular cataract surgery does have some benefits, but it also has some limitations. A significant benefit of this surgery is that it can treat cataracts that other surgeries cannot.

It may, however, result in vision loss later in life since the posterior capsule (the barrier between the different eye segments) can cloud (opacify) over time again.


Recovery from extracapsular cataract surgery takes typically around eight weeks, and you may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops to help with the healing.

This type of surgery takes slightly longer to recover from than phacoemulsification as the procedure is slightly more invasive, requiring a larger incision to remove the lens. Due to the larger incisions, you’ll need sutures to close them up — increasing the healing time.

While extracapsular cataract surgery can remove your cataracts, it can cause problems down the line with the remaining posterior capsule.

If you’re unsure about which type of cataract surgery is right for you, then speak with our ophthalmologists @ Prima Saigon so they can make the best decision based on your circumstances.

Our Cataract Care Team:

If you need a cataract assessment, please have a visit to Prima Medical Center Saigon:

  • Address: 27 Ky Dong St, District 3, HCMC
  • Website: https://primahealth.vn/en/
  • Business Hours: 07:30 – 17:00 from Monday – Saturday
  • HOTLINE: 0919-209-039 or 1900 – 9115