Cataract surgery. Image 1 of 4. Close-up of a surgeon's hands making an incision in the eye of a patient with a cataract. The defective lens will then be removed by phacoemulsification. This uses an ultrasound probe to break up and suck the lens from the eye. It can then be replaced with an artificial lens. A cataract is a loss of transparency of the lens of the eye. It is very common in old age, and is considered part of the ageing process. It causes a gradual loss of visual acuity (sharpness) and increasing short- sightedness. For a sequence showing the complete procedure, see images M570/133-136.
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