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Common Eye Surgeries Performed in India

Eye disease prevalence in the country is very high, and advanced eye care is still not accessible to everyone. At Pristyn Care, we provide comprehensive eye care services to people who need them at affordable prices. If you have any eye problems, you can get in touch with us and consult our eye specialists for free.

Eye disease prevalence in the country is very high, and advanced eye care ... Read More

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What is Eye Surgery?

Also known as ophthalmic or ocular surgery, eye surgery is any procedure performed on the eyes and their accessory visual structures (adnexa). The eye is a very fragile and sensitive organ and requires extreme care before, during, and after surgical procedures to preserve vision. An ophthalmologist with ample training and experience carries out eye surgery with or without the assistance of an optometrist. 

Eye problems are common in people of all age groups. Some of them can be handled with proper eye care and medications, while others often require surgical treatment. Thanks to modern technological advancements, surgical eye care is much safer and more effective now. 

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Types of Eye Surgeries

The prevalence of some eye disorders is higher than others, which is why some eye surgeries are more commonly performed than others. Here are some of the most common eye surgeries- 

  • Laser Eye Surgery 
  • Cataract Surgery 
  • Glaucoma Surgery 
  • Corneal Surgery 
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery 
  • Eye Muscle Surgery 
  • Eyelid Surgery 

These surgical treatments preserve the patient’s vision and help to improve their regular life. 

Laser Eye Surgery

Also known as refractive surgery or laser vision correction surgery, this type of eye surgery is performed to correct refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is an elective procedure that most people choose to get rid of eyeglasses and contact lenses. The surgery involves reshaping the corneal tissues to allow light to fall directly on the retina and provide clear and uncompromised vision. 

There are various types of laser eye surgery, and each one of them is minimally invasive and effective in correcting refractive power. The most common techniques used are- 

The success rate of laser eye surgery is usually higher than 98%, and the visual recovery is also quick. It is a good option for people between the ages of 25 and 40 to regain clear vision. 

Cataract Surgery

Also called lens replacement surgery, cataract surgery is the most common eye surgery performed in India. It is performed to treat cataracts by removing the clouded part of the lens and replacing it with an artificial lens (intraocular lens). The cloudy part of the natural eye lens is removed either by emulsification or cutting it out. 

Various techniques have been evolved to perform cataract surgery to make the treatment safer and minimally invasive. These techniques include- 

  • Phaco surgery or phacoemulsification 
  • Extracapsular cataract extraction 
  • Microincision cataract surgery 
  • Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery 

The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis and takes around 20 to 30 minutes, irrespective of the technique used. The success rate of cataract surgery is higher than 95%. 

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Glaucoma Surgery

This type of eye surgery is performed to treat glaucoma (a group of diseases affecting the optic nerve). The condition is characterized by increased intraocular pressure due to improper drainage of eye fluids. Glaucoma surgery facilitates drainage through various techniques and reduces eye pressure to preserve vision. 

Glaucoma surgery is of the following types- 

  • Trabeculoplasty (modification of the trabecular meshwork in the eye)
  • Iridotomy (making puncture-like openings through the iris)
  • Iridectomy (removal of a portion of iris tissue)
  • Filtering surgery (creating an artificial drainage channel for the vitreous humor)
  • Drainage implants (placement of a device that facilitates drainage of fluids)
  • Ab-interno canaloplasty (enlarging the drainage system)

The ophthalmologist chooses the most suitable technique to reduce eye pressure. The success rate of each technique varies depending on the severity of the condition. 

Corneal Surgery

Various types of eye surgery are performed on the cornea. The most common eye surgery is refractive surgery, but there are other conditions that can affect the cornea, such as keratoconus or pterygium. If these conditions are left untreated, they can damage the cornea significantly and possibly lead to vision loss. Thus, surgery is recommended to address these concerns. 

The different types of corneal surgery include the following- 

  • Corneal transplant (replacing the damaged and scarred cornea with a donor cornea)
  • Pterygium excision (removal of the abnormal conjunctival growth from the cornea)
  • Corneal collagen crosslinking or C3R (halt the progression of keratoconus)
  • Refractive surgery (reshaping the cornea to correct refractive errors)

All of these procedures focus on keeping the cornea healthy so that the patient’s vision is not compromised permanently. 

Vitreoretinal Surgery

It is a type of eye surgery performed on the retina and vitreous humor to address various problems, such as retinal tears, retinal holes, macular holes, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, etc. It involves the removal of the vitreous humor completely or partially to access the diseased retina or other eye structures. 

The most common type of retinal surgeries include the following- 

  • Vitrectomy (removal of vitreous to address retinal disorders)
  • Panretinal photocoagulation (stabilizing the abnormal blood vessels caused by diabetic retinopathy)
  • Pneumatic retinopexy (repairing the retinal tears and holes using laser or cryopexy and injecting an expandable gas bubble)
  • Scleral buckling (attaching a buckle to the sclera to reattach a detached retina)

Retinal disorders are very serious and often require regular monitoring, even with surgical treatments. Thus, many patients often require multiple retinal surgeries to prevent vision loss. 

Eye Muscle Surgery

Commonly known as squint eye surgery or strabismus surgery, eye muscle surgery is the standard procedure to correct the alignment of the extraocular muscles. It involves loosening, tightening, or relocating the eye muscles to correct the structural deformity that leads to squint eyes. 

Patients with squint eyes or crossed eyes often experience vision issues, like amblyopia, diplopia, etc., and lose binocular vision over time. To prevent this from happening and allow both eyes to look in the same direction, eye muscle surgery is recommended. It is usually performed on children before the age of 6. The success rate is excellent in children and adults alike, but the recurrence rate is higher in adults. It is performed on an outpatient basis, and the outcome is usually good.

Eyelid Surgery

Medically termed blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery comes under oculoplastic surgery, i.e., cosmetic eye surgery. This procedure is performed by oculoplastic surgeons who specialize in plastic and cosmetic surgeries performed for the eyes. Eyelid surgery can also be performed for medical reasons, such as to improve the patient’s peripheral vision obstructed by the droopy upper and lower eyelids. 

Blepharoplasty involves removing the excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids through excision to address blepharoptosis. Its repair is primarily considered functional, but recently, patients have started choosing surgery to improve the appearance of the eyelids. The surgery is safe and effective and has a success rate higher than 95%. 

Are Eye Surgeries Covered by Health Insurance?

The eyes are a very crucial organ, and any disease that increases the risk of vision loss is considered a medical necessity. Thus, all health insurance providers cover the treatment expenses of such diseases, including cataracts, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, strabismus, glaucoma, pterygium, keratoconus, etc. 

However, cosmetic eye surgery costs are not covered by health insurance. It means procedures like eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty won’t be covered by insurance if performed only for cosmetic reasons. The patient can avail insurance benefits if the surgery is deemed medically necessary due to a compromise in peripheral vision. For more information, it is advisable to talk to the health insurance provider.