The world's most common operation

Nov 09, 2009

As many as 10 million people around the world suffer from cataracts. Thomas Kohnen of the Goethe University in Frankfurt and his coauthors discuss cataract surgery with the implantation of an artificial lens in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106[43]: 695).

Blindness is usually due to opacification of the lens. In Germany alone, more than 600,000 cataract operations are performed each year. Cataracts can be either congenital or acquired; age-related opacification of the lens is the most common type. The main symptom of cataract is slowly progressive worsening of vision, but glare disability and nearsightedness can also be signs of the disease.

operations are now usually performed on an outpatient basis. The eye is anesthetized, pretreated with antibiotics, and surgically opened. New approaches permit the operation to be performed through an incision smaller than 2 mm. In the phacoemulsification technique, the lens is emulsified and aspirated away through a vibrating hollow needle. The surgeon then an intraocular artificial lens. Patients without any other diseases of the eye can achieve a visual acuity of 1.0 or even better. Special optical designs for the artificial lens can further optimize the quality of vision and thereby improve patient satisfaction.

More information: www.aerzteblatt.de/v4/archiv/pdf.asp?id=66463

Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Explore further: Senegal closes border as UN warns on Ebola flare-up

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New cataract gene discovered

Feb 14, 2008

The international team of researchers was able to identify the location and defect in the coding region of the gene through analysis of genetic material (DNA) from members of a large Swiss family, the majority ...

MU researchers find clue to cataract formation

Apr 17, 2008

It is the No. 1 line-item cost of Medicare reimbursement and affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Cataracts, which can have devastating effects on the eye, affect 42 percent of the population between ...

Physics provides new insights on cataract formation

Nov 09, 2007

Using the tools and techniques of soft condensed matter physics, a research team in Switzerland has demonstrated that a finely tuned balance of attractions between proteins keeps the lens of the eye transparent, and that ...

Recommended for you

Nigeria records two new cases of Ebola

16 minutes ago

Nigeria on Friday said that two more people had tested positive for Ebola, taking the total number of confirmed cases of the deadly virus in the country to 14, including five deaths.

Senegal closes border as UN warns on Ebola flare-up

4 hours ago

Senegal has become the latest country to seal its border with a west African neighbour to ward off the deadly Ebola virus, as the new UN pointman on the epidemic said preparations must be made for a possible flare-up of the ...

Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe

4 hours ago

Dengue fever could make headway in popular European holiday destinations if climate change continues on its predicted trajectory, according to research published in open access journal BMC Public Health.

American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

12 hours ago

Calling it a "miraculous day," an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit and warmly hugged his doctors and nurses on Thursday, showing the world that he poses no public health threat ...

User comments : 0