The lens opacifies with age or after trauma. When vision is sufficiently affected, the cataract can be surgically removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens.
The cornea is lifted from an incision in the blue-grey line surrounding the iris, and the anterior surface of the lens is opened. The nucleus of the lens is removed, leaving the posterior capsule of the lens in position.
The intraocular lens is then placed within the capsule and fixed into position. Laser treatments are often needed post-operatively to clear the posterior capsule.
This procedure is one of the safest and most common surgical procedures performed today, with a very low rate of complications.