Exploring the 3 Types of Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery Blog


Cataract is one of the most common eye ailments in adults worldwide. In India, as per the WHO/NPCB (National Programme for Control of Blindness) survey, there are around 12 million blind people, and 80.1% of these are due to cataract. The annual incidence of cataract blindness is about 3.8 million.

Timely intervention and accurate treatment can help save the vision of millions of people in the country. MM Joshi Eye Institute offers a wide range of surgical procedures for cataract and has also joined hands with the Government in providing proper treatment to the patients.

In this article, we will discuss the three basic cataract eye surgeries that can help you retain your vision.

Three Types of Cataract Surgeries

Extracapsular Cataract Extraction

Commonly known as ECCE, is the conventional method of removing the cataract. The lens is removed in one piece using a large incision. The procedure is less used nowadays.

The doctor will use surgical tools to remove the front capsule and the natural lens that contains the cataract. The back lens capsule remains in place to support the new artificial lens. The method is one of the ways to get rid of the cataract when it becomes impossible to break the lens with the phacoemulsification technique. Some of the key features are as follows:

  • A large incision (10mm) is made in the eye to take out the lens as compared to the phacoemulsification technique (3mm).
  • Stitches or Sutures are used to heal the incision which can be removed later on.
  • The recovery time is longer as compared to phacoemulsification.
  • Beneficial for dense or advanced form of cataract.

Phacoemulsification (Phaco Surgery)

The most common type of cataract surgery is Phacoemulsification or Phaco Surgery. A tiny incision is made around 2.8 -3.2 mm. The Phaco machine emulsifies the cataract which is sucked out. Then a foldable lens (IOL) is inserted. There is no need for stitches. Some of the key features of the technique are as follows:

  • It is a painless, faster, and stitchless procedure for cataract treatment.
  • The procedure allows quick recovery and patients can resume their daily activities in a day or two.
  • It can also treat underlying eye conditions such as nearsightedness, far-sightedness, or Presbyopia.
  • The surgery is effective and safe and is therefore highly recommended.

Phaco surgery is the most commonly used procedure for cataract surgery due to its underlying benefits and effectiveness.

Intracapsular Cataract Surgery (ICCE)

This technique is the least used method for the removal of cataract. The procedure involves the removal of both the cataract and the entire natural lens surroundings. The techniques are now replaced by the Extracapsular and Phacoemulsification technique due to their advantages. The key features of the technique are:

  • The natural lens is removed leaving the patient without a lens. Thick glasses are then required to see.
  • Intracapsular cataract surgery is typically reserved for cases where there is no other option, such as those involving trauma or certain eye problems.
  • It is the least recommended surgery and is replaced by modern techniques where the lens is replaced by the artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

In addition to these, there is one more surgery for the cataract known as Robotic Cataract surgery. It is an innovative approach to cataract treatment. The Bladefree Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery is robotic cataract surgery. In this process, femtosecond laser incisions help with the surgical steps because they are precise and reproducible. The result is more accurate, predictable and free from human errors.


Cataract is a reversible eye disorder that can be cured with the help of surgery. The surgery for cataract removal is almost always successful and patients restore their vision. However, timely intervention is of utmost importance. MM Joshi Eye Institute, Hubli has performed more than 3,00,000 successful cataract surgeries till date and many more as you read this. The eye care centre is a hub of expert ophthalmologists who diagnose the patient in time and give the right treatment before it is too late. In addition, our eye hospital is equipped with all the technologies required to cater to the needs of the patients and give them the best treatment.


  • Which type of cataract surgery is best?

    With millions of successful results and surgeries carried out so far , Phacoemulsification is the best surgery.

  • What is the disadvantage of phaco?

    The equipment used in the phacoemulsification surgery is disposable. Therefore, the cost of the surgery is high as compared to other methods.

  • Who should avoid cataract surgery?

    The following people are not the right candidates for cataract surgery:

    1. Have a severe underlying medical condition
    2. Have advanced diabetes or is suffering from glaucoma
    3. Have a detached retina

  • What is the new technology for cataract surgery?

    The most recent development in cataract surgery is Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery uses a laser to create precise incisions in the eye. This enables a more accurate and predictable approach.