Phaco- emulsification is the technique by which cataract is broken into small pieces and removed from the eye using ultrasound with the help of a special phaco equipment. The actual cataract operation is carried out through a 2.5 to 2.8 mm incision with the help of a titanium needle vibrating at the rate of more than 40,000 times per second.
In early days routine cataract operation is carried out through an incision which is 8 to 10 mm in length through which first cataract is removed and then an intraocular lens is implanted. In Phaco- emulsification technique, cataract removal is done through 2.5 mm to 2.8 mm opening only ( maximum it is extended to 5 mm) for implantation of the intraocular lens and this avoid the necessary for stitches to close the wound and reduce the amount of glasses required for distant vision. Very rarely only a single stitch may be needed.