Cataract

Frequently Asked Questions

13. Are there different types of cataract surgery?

Yes. There are two types of cataract surgery, phacoemulsification and extracapsular surgery. Your doctor can explain the differences and help determine which is better for you.

With phacoemulsification, or phaco, a small incision is made on the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your doctor inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. Most cataract surgery today is done by phacoemulsification, also called "small incision cataract surgery."

With extracapsular surgery, your doctor makes a longer incision on the side of the cornea and removes the cloudy core of the lens in one piece. The rest of the lens is removed by suction.