Today, cataract removal is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local or topical anesthesia. You will be fully awake, but you will be comfortable and feel no pain. Typically, you will be asked to arrive an hour or so prior to your procedure, and you will be allowed to leave after a period of observation following your procedure. The procedure usually takes 15 minutes.
To remove your cataract (clouded lens), your doctor will use a technique called phacoemulsification (phaco). Your doctor will make a tiny, 1/8-inch incision and insert a small phaco probe. The probe will break apart the clouded lens and remove it. Next, an IOL (Intraocular Lens) will be inserted through the same tiny incision, into the lens capsule of your eye. Because this procedure is performed through an incision that is very small, your eye will be able to heal rapidly with little or no discomfort.