Discuss the three approaches of cataract removal and lens replacement and the coding for these procedures.
Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) is a category of eye surgery in which the lens of the eye is removed while the elastic capsule that covers the lens is left partially intact to allow implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL). This approach is contrasted with intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE), an older procedure in which the surgeon removed the complete lens within its capsule and left the eye aphakic (without a lens). The patient's vision was corrected after intracapsular extraction by extremely thick eyeglasses or by contact lenses.
There are two major types of ECCE: manual expression, in which the lens is removed through an incision made in the cornea or the sclera of the eye; and phacoemulsification, in which the lens is broken into fragments inside the capsule by ultrasound energy and removed by aspiration.
Ophthalmologists classify cataracts according to their location in the lens. It is possible for a person to have more than one type of cataract.
• Nuclear cataracts. Nuclear cataracts grow slowly over many years but can become very large and hard, which complicates their removal. They are sometimes called brunescent cataracts because they are characterized by deposits of brown pigment that give the lens an amber color. Nuclear cataracts are most commonly associated with age and with smoking as risk factors.
• Cortical cataracts. Cataracts in the cortex of the lens develop more rapidly than nuclear cataracts but remain softer and are easier to remove. They are thought to be caused by an increase in the water content of the lens. Risk factors for cortical cataracts include female sex and African or Caribbean heritage.
• Posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataracts. This type of cataract, which develops between the back of the lens and the lens capsule, is the softest and most rapidly growing type. PSC cataracts tend to scatter...