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 small incisions and sophisticated techniques, including highly precise lasers and ultrasound. We employ the latest lens designs to clear your vision and reduce your need for glasses.
Improved Vision Through Cataract Surgery
Blurry or hazy vision and nighttime glare 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), and trauma can also cause the lens to cloud. A cataract can also be present at birth. When a cataract affects 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 have a rapid recovery. Our approach improves your vision and gets you back to enjoying your normal activities as quickly as possible.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Tests for Cataract Surgery
A magnified, 3-D examination of the structures at the front of the eye eye is performed by your ophthalmologist.
Corneal Topography and Tomography
A computer-guided device creates a 3-D image map of the cornea to measure corneal power, curvature, and thickness.
This test measures the curvature of the cornea’s front surface to assess astigmatism.
Ultrasound waves measure the thickness of the cornea.
Ultrasound waves measure intraocular lens power.
Why Choose Duke
A Team of Experts
Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed at the Duke Eye Center. Our surgeons are leaders in the field, employing innovative surgery techniques and devices. We are always seeking new ways to improve patients’ experiences and results.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Some people may benefit from the use of lasers during cataract surgery to correct astigmatism or assist in the implantation of multifocal lenses, which can improve distance and up-close vision.
If your cornea is not completely round, called astigmatism, you may have blurring or distortion of your vision -- this is typically corrected with contacts or glasses. After careful evaluation, your surgeon 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
Deciding to have surgery on your eyes should not be taken lightly and we are honored to be part of your journey to restoring your vision. At Duke, we offer patient support services including educational materials and programs, as well as a dedicated team of technicians, staff, and physicians who will walk you through the steps and decision-making process associated with cataract surgery. We look forward to working with you and your family to maximize your vision and quality of life.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and is the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.