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What exactly is a cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure used to remove the natural lens in the eye when it becomes clouded, and replace it with an artificial lens in order to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery is indicated in the United States when the cataract impairs vision to the extent that it interferes with normal daily activities.

In the case of the blinded poor in third world countries, the cataract becomes so cloudy that the person usually can barely see anything in either eye! Put your hand two inches in front of both eyes and you see nothing but light.That`s what they see today! Move your hand away from one eye.That`s what they see tomorrow.

The cost of cataract surgery in the United States Is approximately $2,500 per eye.The cost for our mission to do cataract surgery is $50 per eye.

A White cataract (normally the pupil center is black because the lens is clear!)

How is it performed?

Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens (intraocular lens implant or IOL). The plastic artificial lens is permanent, requires no care, and can significantly improve vision. Newer artificial lens options include those that simulate the natural focusing ability of a young lens, allowing for distance and some near vision as well.

Cataract surgery is typically an outpatient procedure that takes less than an hour. Most patients are awake during the procedure and need only local anesthesia.

Actual removed cataracts! You never see these in the USA!These video's were filmed through Dr. Jim's microscope  during one of the Mission's surgical expeditions.

Watch how the cataract is removed revealing the clear eye (without the lens). 


A pterygium is a fleshy tissue that occurs on the surface of the eye. It starts from the clear conjunctival tissue that covers the white part of the eye Sometimes pterygia can grow over the cornea causing vision to be obstructed or astigmatism to be produced. If this occurs, then the Ophthalmologists can remove it surgically.

Pterygia occur more often in people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, especially in sunny climates. Long term exposure to UV rays also contrubutes. Wearing sunglasses can help prevent pterygiums from starting.

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