(From “SIGHT,” interview with Juan Batlle, Centro Laser, Santo Domingo)

“In cataract surgery, there are three major operations nowadays, and all three are very good. There are advantages to one over the other. The most commonly performed operation now is called phacoemulsification, in ‘phaco’ a small probe with a 0.9 mm or one millimeter diameter is introduced into the eye to aspirate the crystalline lens. The tip of the phacoemulsifier vibrates at 13,000 hertz. This is fast. And in doing so it will cavitate, it will make cavities within the crystalline lens, and we can disassemble and then aspirate the lens out of the eye. It uses irrigation, aspiration and ultrasound energy to accomplish this.

“There is another operation, which is actually used in the third world very frequently. Why? Because it’s more inexpensive. It is just as fast as the phacoemulsification but the wound is a little bit bigger. In that operation a small incision is created which allows us to remove in total the crystalline lens or cataract out of the eye. There’s cortex around the nucleus of the lens that needs to be washed out, and then in its place an artificial lens is introduced. This is known as extracapsular surgery.

“Recently, and this is thanks to an Israeli ophthalmologist by the name of Blumenthal, a small incision, extracapsular operation was developed known as M6 Manual, small incision, cataract surgery. And in this a very small wound, just as you do with phaco, is created and through it you can remove the crystalline lens and introduce the artificial lens as well. New lenses are folded and are made out of acrylic material that is foldable.” (More from the free e-Book at storyofsight.com)