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Phacoemulsification

Phacoemulsification is a method for removing cataracts.

A small 1/8th inch incision is made in the edge of the clear window of the front of the eye called the cornea in a beveled fashion. The anterior chamber, just behind the cornea, is filled with a viscous substance. The pupil has been dilated with a  sympathetic nervous system activator and a parasympathetic nervous system inhibitor exposing the lens.

The lens has a capsule surrounding it that is very clear. The clouded part of the lens lies inside this capsule. A circular portion of the front lens capsule is removed by a technique called capsulorhexis.

The material inside the lens capsule is formed like rings of an onion and gets larger with age. Balanced saline solution is injected near the most peripheral ring which loosens the clouded hard lens material.

The lens material becomes hard as a result of ultraviolet exposure and the oxidation of lens proteins over our lifetime.

A device that irrigates in fluid around a central vibrating metallic tube is inserted to remove the cataract. The tube moves back and forth at 40,000 cycles per second for 3/100th of one inch at its maximum excursion. This essentially jackhammers the hard lens material and emulsifies it.

The emulsified material is removed through the central bore by computer controlled suction. A lens implant is then inserted in the clear lens "capsular bag"

Phacoemulsification was invented by Charles Kelman, MD of New York City in 1972. It has become the standard way of removing cataracts over the years and is the state-of-the-art method in cataract surgery.

There are a number of  "Phaco" devices made by various manufacturers currently in use. The cost of these devices can be beyond $60,000. This device allows us to remove a cataract through a self sealing incision that closes like a flutter valve. For this reason we do not have to use sutures, and is called the "no stitch" method. The advantages of this type of wound construction is that it induces very little astigmatism.

 

Phacoemulsification Devices

Alcon  Infinity

Allergan Sovereign

         

Tip of Hand Piece

 

Dangerous Symptoms |  Laser Surgery |  Site Map | Meet Our Doctors  |  Map  | Forms | Photos 

 Home | Patient Education | Patient Instructions | Laser FAQ | Cataract FAQ | About Our Doctors
Pfoff Laser and Eye, 6881 South Yosemite Street | Centennial, Colorado 80112 | 303-588-7900|