Cataract Surgery

Duke eye surgeons perform thousands of cataract surgeries each year, and can often restore your vision to 20/20. We remove your cloudy lens using tiny incisions and sophisticated techniques, including highly precise lasers and ultrasound. We employ the latest lens designs to clear your vision. Depending on the lens used, you may no longer need glasses.

Improved vision through cataract surgery

Blurry or hazy vision, and night time glare or halo, may be a sign that you have a cataract.  A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens inside the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. Age is the most common culprit, but medication use, diseases (like diabetes), trauma and congenital concerns can also cause the lens to cloud. When a cataract deteriorates your vision, your best option is the surgical removal of the cataract, and placement of an intraocular lens that permanently corrects your vision.

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 15 minutes to perform using only light sedation. Most people experience no pain, and enjoy a rapid recovery. Our approach improves your vision, and gets you back to enjoying your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Choose Duke for your cataract surgery because we offer:

  • Leading eye care experts. U. S News & World Report consistently ranks Duke Eye Center among the nation’s best.
  • Implantable lens optionsRecent advances in lens technology and design mean we have multiple options to improve your vision with cataract surgery. You will have a thorough discussion with your cataract surgeon regarding your individual situation and expectations following surgery. This will help determine which lens is right for you.
  • Laser-assisted cataract surgery. Some people may benefit the use of lasers, which can be used during cataract surgery to correct astigmatism, or assist in the implantation of multifocal lenses that can improve distance and up-close vision. 
  • Astigmatism correction. If your cornea is not completely round, you may experience astigmatism, which can blur or distort your vision. After careful evaluation, we may recommend one of two options to correct your astigmatism. We may correct your vision with a special artificial lens or, we may recommend an alternate procedure called limbal relaxing incision (LRI). A small incision is created to reshape your cornea and reduce astigmatism. LRI can often be performed at the same time as your cataract surgery.
  • Simple secondary cataract treatment. In a small percentage of cases, scarring or a secondary cataract may form on the membrane that supports the implanted lens. If this occurs in the months or years following your cataract surgery, we perform a short, painless in-office laser procedure to create an opening that lets light shine through and eliminate the secondary cataract.
  • Compassionate, supportive environment. We offer patient support services, including educational materials and programs, a low vision rehabilitation program, and a dedicated social worker to help you and your loved ones manage your condition and maximize your quality of life.

Lens options

Cataract surgery involves a small incision, made on the side of your cornea using a blade or laser. The cataract is removed using ultrasound energy, then an artificial lens is inserted into the eye. The entire process takes a few minutes under light sedation. You will be sent home with a clear eye shield, and will be able to return to most activities within two days. Complete recovery, and stabilization of your vision can take up to one month. Your lens options include:


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