Purpose of review: Cataract surgery in India has seen exponential growth in the past decade. This leap was possible due to cost-effective cataract surgery with intraocular lenses. The purpose of this review is to update the reader regarding the Indian scenario of cataract surgery and intraocular lens manufacturing.
Recent findings: India performed an estimated 0.5 million cataract surgeries in 1981-1982; this increased to 4.8 million in 2006 with 90% intraocular lens acceptance. There has been a sustained shift from sutured extracapsular cataract surgery to small-incision cataract surgery. Phacoemulsification with foldable lenses is becoming the surgical choice in the urban setting. The Indian intraocular lens industry is maturing from a low-cost manufacturer to a quality-conscious, technology-driven and value-priced industry to meet present and future market needs.
Summary: The burden of cataract blindness is a major challenge for all developing countries. India has managed to improve its cataract surgical rate by an amalgam of factors such as low surgical costs, low-cost indigenous eye-care consumables, infrastructure development and enhanced training. The findings from this review will be useful to develop strategies to enhance the uptake of cataract surgery in developing countries.