Cataract Surgery

When the lens of the eye turns cloudy, ophthalmologists speak of a cataract. Cataracts occur when proteins of the normally clear intraocular lens form clumps. Often, cataracts develop with age, but may also be caused by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. Cataracts may affect vision, and even lead to blindness. At present, surgery is the only existing therapy for cataracts.

Cataract operations have become one of the most frequent ophthalmic procedures over the last decades. The eye surgeon removes the cataract and replaces the natural intraocular lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The operation usually takes around five to ten minutes and can be conducted under local anesthesia.

Microscopes play a crucial role in this procedure. They enable ophthalmologists to see whether the cataract has been fully removed and allow them to position the IOL correctly, thus promoting positive patient outcomes.

Need Assistance?

Contact a local imaging specialist for expert advice on the right cataract operating microscope for your needs and budget.

Challenges in cataract surgery

To achieve the best possible outcome for patients, ophthalmic surgeons must fully remove the cataract and lens cortex as well as position the IOL correctly. Therefore

  • it is necessary to maintain optimal illumination with a constant and brilliant red reflex for clear visualization in cataract surgery.
  • it is essential to achieve sufficient depth perception to avoid repeatedly re-focusing during the procedure, causing unnecessary interruptions of the surgical workflow.

Cataract surgery is a routine procedure. Often eye surgeons will perform several cataract operations, one after another, sometimes even using two operating theaters to increase efficiency.

A flexible and ergonomic microscope design with customizable accessories increases the surgeon’s comfort levels, reduces fatigue and allows the surgeon to focus on the procedure, helping to improve patient outcomes.

Cataract Surgery with the Proveo 8 Microscope, courtesy of Dr. Fabio Dornelles M.D., Cataract Surgery Preceptor at Porto Alegre’s Eye Bank Hospital, Clinica Visao, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Card Icon

Optimal illumination

Red reflex illumination reveals finest details even during capsulorhexisand phacoemulsification. The red reflex remains stable and brilliant also at lower illumination level.

Card Icon

Uninterrupted workflow

High-resolution apochromatic optics provide ophthalmologists with a large depth of field so that they can see clearly without refocusing.

Card Icon

Flexible ergonomics

Ophthalmic microscopes can be customized to suit each surgeon and clinic set-up to enable fatigue-free work.

Cataract Surgery Microscopes

Filter by Area of Application
Ophthalmic Microscope Proveo 8

Proveo 8

Surgical microscope with premium optics for ophthalmology

Leica M620 F20

Leica M620 F20

All-round surgical microscope for ophthalmology

Smooth cataract surgery from start to finish

Leica Ophthalmic microscopes support eye surgeons in every step of cataract surgery, enabling them to work with high levels of efficiency and precision.


The clear corneal incision (CCI) as well as the capsulorhexisdemand a clear image so that surgeons can work precisely. The combination of optics and illumination help surgeons to see the details they need to see, while the ergonomics of the microscope help them to work in a relaxed working posture, allowing steady hand control.

Cataract break-up and removal

During phacoemusificationas well as the removal of lens and lens cortex, the red reflex is key to visualizing the structures of the patient’s eye. The illumination keeps the red reflex stable and brilliant during all phases of the procedure and helps ophthalmologists to see whether the cataract has been fully removed.

Placement of IOL

Placing the monofocal, multifocal, or toric IOL in the lens capsule with the lens injector, is delicate work which requires a clear image of the capsulorbag and its structures.

The stable and brilliant red reflex ensured by the illumination of the microscope helps surgeons to place IOLs precisely and in an uninterrupted workflow, as the depth of field of the image requires no refocusing.

Leica Cataract Microscopes Overview

Discover our microscopes for cataract surgery

M620 F20M822 F40Proveo 8
High quality apochromatic opticXXX
Long arm reach and small footprintsXXX
Camera and recording system (optional)XXX
Direct illuminationXXX
Main illuminationHalogenLEDLED
Red reflex illuminationHalogenHalogenLED
Motorized tilt XX
Electromagnetic brakes XX
Full stereoscopic side observer  X

Efficiency in the OR

Depending on the individual requirements of eye surgeons and clinic set-ups, Leica Microsystems offers a choice of microscope solutions for cataract operations.

  • Small private practices or clinics with low volumes of procedures performed benefit most from an affordable microscope that offers proven technology for positive patient outcomes, is intuitive to handle, and easy to maintain.
  • Private and public clinics, in which cataract procedures as well as posterior segment surgery is performed regularly, benefit most from a microscope solution which enables them to improve their workflow and thus make the most of their microscope.
  • If there is a focus on teaching, or on a high volume of anterior as well as posterior surgery, possibly even with the wish to integrate advanced documentation or intraoperative OCT, Leica Microsystems offers a future-proof solution with outstanding visualization capabilities.

Consistent image, stable red reflex

In the Proveo 8, CoAx4 Illumination technology provides the most brilliant and stable red reflex within the Leica ophthalmic microscope range.

CoAx4 Illumination means that light enters the patient’s eye perpendicularly in relation to the retina via four individual coaxial illumination beam paths.

Thanks to this technology, the image appears the same to the surgeon, the assistant as well as the camera via which the procedure can be documented.

Learn more in the Science Lab article Cataract Surgery with CoAx4 Illumination.

Related Articles

Read our latest articles about Cataract Surgery

The knowledge portal of Leica Microsystems offers scientific research and teaching material on the subjects of microscopy. The content is designed to support beginners, experienced practitioners and scientists alike in their everyday work and experiments.

More Articles

Improved Visualization of the Anterior Chamber Angle with Proveo 8

In this interview, Michael G. Richie, MD offers his expert opinion on the Proveo 8 from Leica Microsystems as a means for outstanding visualization of the anterior chamber during MIGS. He describes…
Read article

Residual Fragment Assessment with the Proveo 8 Intraoperative OCT

In the brief video presented below, Dr. Rachid Tahiri, an ophthalmic surgeon at the Centre d’Ophtalmologie in Granville, France shares his experience in using Proveo 8 intraoperative OCT in cataract…
Read article

Cataract Incision Analysis Using EnFocus Intraoperative OCT

Ophthalmic surgery requires high levels of accuracy and precision for optimal surgical maneuvers and tissue manipulation. Surgical microscopes play an essential role in helping ophthalmic surgeons…
Read article

Overcoming Ophthalmologic Surgery Challenges

Ophthalmology surgical procedures involving both the anterior and posterior segment can be particularly challenging. Good visualization is required to operate with precision and confidence. Prof.…
Read article

Better Decision Making during Anterior Segment Surgery

Anterior segment surgery ranges from routine cataract surgery to more complex procedures such as Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK), Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty…
Read article

Advanced Techniques in Cataract and Refractive Surgery

In this webinar Dr. Thompson and Dr. Moshirfar will explain how Leica microscopes aid in procedures such as Centration of Multifocal IOLs and corneal inlays such as Kamra and Lenticular Grafts used in…
Read article

Surgeons describe how Proveo 8 helps to streamline their workflow

Experienced ophthalmic surgeons explain how they perform cataract surgery with high efficiency using the Proveo 8 ophthalmic microscope from Leica Microsystems. The sophisticated illumination system…
Read article

"The excellent red reflex, combined with the IOL guidance system, makes it possible for me to work quickly and precisely during refractive procedures."

Excellent red reflex as well as maximum accuracy throughout the entire procedure are required to meet these expectations. Dr. Ulrich Jung, Medical Director at the ARTEMIS eye clinic in Dillenburg,…
Read article

How to Manage Critical Points in Cataract or Refractive Surgery with IOL Positioning Software

Successful refractive surgery is all about accuracy. The aim is to deliver minimal residual astigmatism so the patient can be glasses- free. Latest IOL Positioning Systems such as IOLcompass Pro…
Read article

Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery with the Proveo 8 Ophthalmic Microscope

These videos recorded during cataract and glaucoma surgery using Proveo 8 demonstrate how Dr. Ahmed benefits from continuous red reflex even during phaco, due to exclusive CoAx 4 coaxial illumination,…
Read article

How a State-of-the-Art Microscope Helps to Optimize the Workflow in Cataract Surgery

Typical ophthalmic procedures require specific levels of light, focus and magnification in each phase of surgery. Changing quickly between these settings is the prerequisite for an uninterrupted and…
Read article

The Impact of a Stable Red Reflex and Enhanced Focus in Cataract Surgery

In cataract surgery, ophthalmologists rely on the red reflex which provides ideal contrast to visualize the capsule, lens and anterior chamber structure. A new illumination technology in the latest of…
Read article

Cataract Surgery with CoAx4 Illumination

A stable red reflex is one of the most important features of an ophthalmic surgical microscope for cataract surgery. It’s the red reflex that makes the structure of the lens visible and thus makes for…
Read article

Video: How Optical Innovations and 3D Heads-up Surgery Help to Improve Ophthalmic Surgery

In this video, Dr. Ike Ahmed demonstrates how optical innovations help to improve ophthalmic surgeries. In addition, he talks about his experience with 3D heads-up surgery, using a stereoscopic…
Read article

Intraocular Lenses

Only a few decades ago, the diagnosis ‘cataracts’ meant loss of vision in the near future. Today, cataract surgery is the most common operation worldwide.
Read article

Seeing Without a Haze – Trends in Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery has been practised for centuries and is one of the most common operations performed worldwide today. Ultra modern surgical techniques with tiny incisions and high-quality prosthetic…
Read article