About Cataract Surgery
A cataract will affect most individuals when they reach a certain point in their lives, but is usually common in the elderly. Similar to looking through a fogged-up window, a cataract can severely reduce the clarity of a suffer’s vision.
Essentially, a cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. This begins when proteins form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina through the blockage of light. The cataract develops slowly, and becomes more noticeable over time.
Benefits of Cataract Surgery
The most obvious benefits are greater clarity of vision and improved colour vision.
Lens Implants are selected to compensate for existing focusing problems, most people find that their eyesight improves considerably after surgery but will need to replace their glasses.
After the operation you may read or watch TV almost straight away, but you your vision may be blurred. Reading glasses are usually needed after cataract surgery.
Possible Risks After Cataract Surgery
Please note that if you have another condition such as diabetic, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration your quality of vision may still be limited even after successful surgery.
The most common complication is called ‘posterior capsular occlusion (PCO)’. It may come on gradually after months or years. When this happens, the back part of the lens capsule, which was left in the eye to support the implant, becomes cloudy. This prevents light from reaching the retina.
To treat this, the eye specialist uses a laser beam to make a small opening in the cloudy membrane in order to improve the eyesight. This is a painless outpatient procedure which normally takes only a few minutes.
The following could happen after the cataract surgery:
- Overcorrection or undercorrection
- Posterior capsular occlusion (PCO)
- Retinal detachment
Complications are rare and, in most cases, can be treated effectively. In a small proportion of cases, further surgery may be needed. Very rarely some complications can result in blindness.
We hope this information is sufficient to help you decide whether to go ahead with surgery.
There are several lens choices available depending on your specific needs.
The standard monofocal lens is the one most people opt for. After surgery your vision will be better, but in most cases, you will still need glasses to help focus with near and/or distance vision. You may also need distance glasses depending on issues such as astigmatism.
This option is only available through a private procedure. Similar to bifocal or varifocal glasses, multifocal lenses will result in improved vision for reading and distance, without the need for glasses in most cases. Some patients who choose multifocal lenses will also require glasses, but most activities can be performed without them.
For patients with astigmatism, a toric lens can correct the astigmatism and reduce the need for glasses with thicker lenses.
Private cataract surgery gives you a wider choice of treatments than are available on the NHS, meaning they can be personalised to suit you. Please ask one of our team if you are interested in any of the treatments described above.
Click to view our animated video about the surgery procedure
Video: Surgical procedure for cataract
Disclaimer: This video contains scenes in an operating theatre of a cataract surgical procedure. Viewer discretion is advised. Some may find it uncomfortable to watch.
It is normal to feel itching, sticky eyelids and mild discomfort for a while after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is common. If you have discomfort, we suggest that you take paracetamol up to 4 times a day leaving at least 4 hours between doses. For a few days the eye may feel dry as if there is something in it and may be slightly sticky in the morning, this is normal. The eye should feel progressively more comfortable each day. You will be given eye drops to reduce inflammation. The hospital staff will explain how and when to use them. Certain symptoms could mean that you need prompt treatment, including:
- Increased pain
- Paid loss of vision
- Increased redness, or discharge
- Flashes of light, floaters (black spots) or a curtain across your vision
The standard monofocal lens is the one most people opt for. After surgery your vision will be better, but in most cases, you will still need glasses to help focus with near with near and/or distance vision. You may also need distance glasses depending on issues such as astigmatism.
A member of the team will call you on the day after surgery to check how you are doing, and to answer any questions you may have.
Most people still need glasses after cataract surgery. The chance of not needing glasses after cataract surgery depends on many things. These include your personal vision requirements, the presence of any astigmatism, and the choice of lens implant (monofocal, toric, multifocal, or monovision). Your consultant will explain this to you. The eye changes shape as it is healing, and your glasses prescription will alter during this time. If you are very keen to read with the eye that has just had surgery with a distance focus implant.
- You will need to update your glasses four to six weeks after your operation.
- You can buy an off-the-peg pair of reading glasses at minimal cost.
- You will not harm your eyes by using an old pair of glasses or an approximate glasses prescription.
If you are a glaucoma patient, remember to open a new bottle of eye drops and continue using the eye drops as prescribed. If required use clean water (boiled then cooled) and clean gauze or tissues to wipe any discharge from the lids. If a pad or shield has been placed on your eye, remove it and discard the following morning then clean your eye as the instructions below:
- Please do not rub your eye.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water at all times.
- Clean your eye as required with cotton wool, gauze or clean tissues, moistened with cooled boiled water.
- If there is no cover on the eye after surgery, just use the drops straight away and clean as required.
- Use the eye drops as prescribed, usually 3 – 4 times a day for 4 weeks.
- You can shower or bathe as normal but try to keep dirty water and soap away from your eye.
- Wear sunglasses if you wish.
In case you develop any of the above symptoms, or should you need urgent advice about your eye, please call our emergency number: 0116 243 7373.
What are the costs?
Initial no obligation consultation, including full diagnostics from £200
Cataract Surgery is
£2,000 per eye for a Monofocal lens implant
£2,750 per eye for a Multifocal Lens implant
2 Free post-operative check-up appointments
NO VAT APPLICABLE ON ALL OUR COSTS
Interest free finance over 12 months available - subject to status