Who Invented Cataract Surgery?
While most of the time research centers on the latest technology, it is interesting to look back on through history to learn about the development of cataract extraction surgery.
The term cataracts has a long history. Deriving from the word cascade, which infers both a haziness of the point of convergence as well as a storm of waters, the root term derives from the Greek word υπόχυσις (kataráktēs) which suggests a fall of water. The Latins called it suffusio, extravasation and coagulation of humors behind the iris; and the Arabas, white water. Linguists have contemplated the possible source of the term cataracts even dating back to Egyptian times. Fortunately, we do not have to look this far to find the history of cataract surgery.
Prior to the cataract extraction surgery, a procedure called couching was commonly performed. During this procedure, a sharp or blunt instrument would dislocate the cataract lens, pushing it back into the posterior chamber of the eye. The earliest documentation of this procedure dates back to the 6th century B.C. However, with with a much higher incidence of complications and greater risk of subsequent blindness this procedure is now antiquated since the discovery of cataract extraction surgery.
History tells us that the first modern European physician who successfully extracted cataracts from the eye was Jacques Daviel, the French ophthalmologist. On April 8, 1747, Daviel performed the first extracapsular cataract extraction. This procedure is regarded as the first significant advance in cataract surgery since couching.
Now, Cataract removal is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States and it is estimated that over 3.5 million operations are performed each year.
During cataract removal surgery, the ophthalmologist uses anesthetic eye drops to numb the eyes, as well as I.V. medication to relax the patient. During a safe and proven process called phacoemulsification, the surgeon breaks up the cataract and “vacuums” it from the eye pouch. The intraocular lens (IOL) &amp;nbsp;implant is then inserted. In most cases, a suture is not needed. The entire process takes 15 minutes.
With the new lens in place, patients often remark about how bright, crisp and clear their vision is. Advances in lenses have allowed for patients to select from premium lenses, often furthering vision enhancement. Some patients who select such lenses may even find that they no longer need glasses after cataract surgery.
There is a lot of information available on the internet. The best facts about cataracts come from ophthalmologists with education, training, and experience in cataract surgery. Community Eye Center’s cataract surgeons have collectively performed thousands of successful cataract removal surgeries. To learn more, please visit the link below.
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