advanced ocular technology

What is phacoemulsification?

Phacoemulsification is a micro-incision surgery procedure for the treatment of cataract and eye strain. It is a sutureless, outpatient (ambulatory) surgery.

This procedure uses an ultrasonic probe inserted in the eye to break up the opaque lens into tiny particles. Emulsified lens matter is later extracted by the surgeon through a minimal incision.

Benefits of Phacoemulsification

Advantages of phacoemulsification over other procedures include:

Sutureless procedure that reduces the risk of complication

Quick recovery and visual rehabilitation

Reduction of induced astigmatism


1. Application of anaesthetic

Topical anaesthetic (eye drops) is applied to avoid pain and discomfort. Sedation of patients is recommended to facilitate the procedure. Some cases require locoregional or peribulbar anaesthetic.

2. Exposure of the eyeball

Eyelids are kept open with a palpebral separator to grant access and facilitate the manipulation of the surgery area.

3. Incision

The reduced size of incisions is one of the main advantages of phacoemulsification cataract surgery. The size of the main incision, through which the ultrasonic probe is inserted and the emulsified lens matter is extracted, is 2.75 -3.2mm and the secondary incision (paracentesis) used to introduce support instruments is 0.8-1mm long.

4. Viscoelastic injection

The corneal endothelium is a very fragile structure that must be protected during cataract surgery. Viscoelastic material is injected prior to the use of instruments that will manipulate the lens and extract the cataract.

5. Capsulorhexis

After the incisions are made, the capsule of the lens is removed to extract the opaque lens. Several methods can be used in this step, but given the multiple benefits the most used procedure is continuous circular capsulotomy (ccc) which facilitates the stabilisation and centering of the intraocular lens.

6. Hydrodissection

After Capsulorhexis, irrigation or hydrodissection fluid is injected to gently separate the capsule for the lens cortex.

7. Nuclear rotation

If hydrodissection successfully separates the cortex from the capsule, the surgeon will be able to rotate the nucleus inside the capsular bag. This will facilitate its extraction by phacoemulsification.

8. Fragmentation and extraction of the nucleus

This is the most distinctive step of phacoemulsification. The lens is fragmented (emulsified) using ultrasonic technology and extracted by aspiration. Generally surgeons use a “divide and conquer” method which involves the fragmentation of the lens into four parts that are aspirated separately.

9. Insertion of the intraocular lens

A special injector is used for folding intraocular lenses. This method allows the insertion of the folded lens through the same incision made for phacoemulsification. The lens is later unfolded in the capsular bag and surgery concludes without the need of suturing. When eye conditions do not allow the use of folding lenses (correction of severe myopia or hyperopia) the incision must be extended to the diameter of the intraocular lens.


The expertise of our medical team combined with the use of state-of-the-art technology guarantee the best results for our patients.

About us

«I have depended on eyeglasses since childhood. Today, thanks to the specialists from Rahhal Clinic I finally got rid of them.»

José Miguel Carbonell.

«I had surgery in this clinic and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I am very grateful to the staff for their consideration, kindness and for the confidence they inspired in me all this time»

Hernan Gomez. 

«Excellent care and high professional standards. I had cataract surgery on both eyes. Dr. Rahhal and his team made something very simple out of a complicated operation»

Tomás Cócera. 



At CLÍNICA RAHHAL we want treatment to be affordable for our patients.




When should I have cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is performed when vision loss limits daily activities. This vision impairment begins at 0.5 in the eye chart (sometimes less).

At this point activities like reading and driving become difficult.

Can my cataracts improve without surgery?

No. The cataract process is associated with ageing and develops in an irreversible form. Surgery is the only effective treatment.

Can cataract surgery improve myopia/hyperopia?

Yes. The intraocular lens that replaces the eye lens is adjusted to correct the patient’s myopia/hyperopia.

Can cataract surgery correct astigmatism?

Yes. There are several methods to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery. One of them implies making relaxing (arcuate) incisions which reduce astigmatism. Another method is the use of special toric lenses. In this case the results are less predictable than in the correction of myopia or hyperopia, but the reduction of astigmatism will still be considerable.

Will my vision recover 100% after cataract surgery?

That will depend on the condition of the eye structures. Initial prognosis is based on a study carried out before surgery.
A 100% healthy eye that loses vision with cataract will recover its vision 100% after surgery, however if the retina is damaged and the vision is reduced to 60%, cataract surgery will only restore vision to 60%.


Will I also have cataract surgery?

No. Eye strain surgery with intraocular lens implant replaces the eye lens that is beginning to blur. Cataract surgery may be considered in the initial phases to eliminate the need of optical correction (eyeglasses or contact lenses).

Is this a definitive procedure?

It certainly is. Intraocular implants are permanent. If some residual prescription is left it may be corrected with laser procedure. Intraocular lenses are only removed in exceptional cases.

Can I have this surgery if I already had surgery to correct myopia/hyperopia/astigmatism?

Yes. The cause for those refractive errors is completely different from the cause of presbyopia, although all those disorders result in the need to wear eyeglasses. Previous surgery will not affect correction.

Can this surgery correct my myopia/hyperopia/ astigmatism?

Yes. All the refractive errors of a patient can be corrected with eye strain surgery. If some residual prescription is left it may be corrected with laser procedure.

How long does eye strain surgery with intraocular lens implant last?

Surgery usually lasts 20-30 minutes per eye and is performed with local anaesthetics (eye drops) in most cases.

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