Mr Keith Bates
MA (OXON) BM BCH (OXON) FRCS FRCOphth
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Mr Robert Morris
BSc(Hons), MB BS (Hons), MRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Mr Paul Rosen
BSc(Hons), MB ChB, FRCS, FRCOphth, MBA
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Eye surgery available in London and the Southeast
This eye treatment is available in:
What does the cataract surgery involve?
Cataract surgery usually lasts about 15 minutes. It’s painless as we perform it under local or topical anaesthetic, with some sedation to relax you further if required.
On the day of surgery and once in the hospital we will dilate your pupils with eye drops. Before surgery the area around your eye is cleaned.
The technology used is a machine called a phacoemulsifier (phaco) and some patient are suitable for laser technology (femtophaco). The surgeon makes a micro-incision on the side of the cornea. The incision is no more than 2.5mm and a tiny probe inserted into the eye. This ‘phaco’ device emits ultrasound waves that break up the hard lens. The same probe removes the lens material by suction.
Once removed the surgeon replaces the original lens with the lens implant, the implant folded and inserted through the tiny incision. It then unfolds once in place in the eye. As there are no stitches, this means you can return home to relax the same day. From then you can look forward to a rapid and pain-free recovery.
How long will the cataract surgery take?
The operation itself will take up to 15 minutes depending on the complexity of the case. You will need to be in the hospital for about 3 hours. You will need someone to collect you or we can arrange transport for you.
What happens after the operation?
After the cataract surgery, you will rest for a while and have refreshments. We will give you a dressing pack to swab the eye clean the following day. The package includes antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to apply at home after the surgery. Once the surgeon has seen you, you can go home.
How fast will my vision return?
Your vision will be blurred for a few days while your eye heals. It is usual to feel some discomfort and irritation until your eye settles, but there should be no pain. You can relieve any discomfort by taking paracetamol. After a couple of days you will start to notice a significant improvement in your vision. You will see the surgeon again after two weeks and will visit your optometrist for new glasses (should you need them) after four weeks.
You can return to many everyday activities in a few days. We suggest you avoid heavy lifting or other strenuous activities for a week. The healing eye needs time to adjust so that it can focus with the other eye. Ask your surgeon or optometrist when you can resume driving.
What will my vision be like after my eye has healed after cataract surgery?
You may notice that everything seems a lot brighter than you remember. Colours may be sharper and may have a blue-ish tinge.
Or, in bright sunlight you may feel you are looking through rose-coloured glasses. These colour tinges are normal. They occur because you are now looking at the world through a clear lens that is no longer cloudy. Within a few months your brain will get used to your new clear vision and you will adapt to this colour change.
Can I have both eyes done at once?
If you have cataracts in both eyes, the surgeon will not remove them both at the same time. You will need to have each done separately, although we can do both within about two to four weeks.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
In cataract surgery we combine lens technology with a well proven surgical procedure. Every year in the UK alone over 350,000 people undergo cataract surgery. In cataract surgery, we replace the lens with a lens implant. We use the same surgical techniques required for Lens Replacement. We are experienced surgeons in both the procedure itself and understand the new technology.
As with all surgery, there are risks. Cataract surgery is one of the quickest and safest surgical interventions available. It’s still surgery.
The vast majority of patients achieve excellent results without complications. Still, cataract surgery is a surgical procedure. As with all forms of eye surgery, cataract surgery has risks. While we make every effort to cut them we cannot eliminate them.
You can discuss these risks further with your surgeon. In the end, only you can determine if the benefits of having cataract surgery are worth the risk after careful discussion with your surgeon. Cataract surgery is as an elective procedure. You can choose instead to wear glasses, bifocals or contact lenses.
The most important risks associated with cataract surgery are:
Every time we make an incision in an eye, an infection can occur inside the eye. Eye infections have the potential to cause severe visual loss. This problem is extremely rare, and our rate of eye infection is less than 0.015%. We use antibiotics during surgery and post-operatively, we prescribe eye drops to help reduce this risk further. You must use these as we direct.
This is very rare, and occurs at the time of surgery and less likely with modern surgical techniques. It can have a significant impact on sight.
Retinal detachment is when the retina detaches from its normal position and is more common in short sighted patients without surgery. Retinal detachment can result in loss of vision if we cannot correct it. The relative risk of retinal detachment in the general population is 0.01 % per year and a myopic patient has a higher risk than this.However it is common for patients undergoing cataract surgery to have already developed a detachment of the vitreous gel, the first part of developing a retinal detachment, without a retinal detachment occurring
However it is common for patients undergoing cataract surgery to have already developed a detachment of the vitreous gel, the first part of developing a retinal detachment, without a retinal detachment occurring and therefore making it unlikely to occur with Lens Replacement.
Macular Oedema is an accumulation of fluid in the central retina. It is not uncommon in a minor form and can cause temporary (or very rarely) permanent reduction in vision after surgery and can cause temporary or permanent reduction in vision after surgery. The postoperative eye drops help reduce this risk.
These may be more obvious after surgery. Usually, you see them much less with time.
Posterior Capsule Opacification:
Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO) is thickening of the residual lens membrane supporting the lens implant. Approximately 25% of patients will, at some stage, notice a reduction in their vision due to PCO. It may occur months or even years after surgery. We treat with this by outpatient laser treatment, which takes about five minutes.
Other possible complications include tearing of the lens capsule (<1%). Lens capsule tear means that it is harder to implant an intra-ocular lens. There are other rare complications which your surgeon will discuss with you before surgery.
How long does the implant last?
The lens implants we use last a lifetime.
Can a cataract come back?
Once you have a lens implant (intra-ocular lens or IOL) you cannot develop another cataract in that eye. It is common for the membrane that holds the lens in place to develop some cell regrowth in the first 18 months after surgery. Should this occur, we can remove it in seconds using a small laser beam in the surgeon’s consulting rooms. We call this technique a YAG laser capsulotomy and is a simple outpatient procedure.
Cataract logistics and cost
Will I need a referral from my GP or optometrist?
You do not need a referral from your GP or optometrist. You can call us to schedule your initial assessment appointment with your surgeon.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
Our Practice Managers can offer guidance on the expense of an initial consultation. They can also share guide prices with regards to the various treatment options available. If you have private medical insurance, your policy may cover the costs of consultation and surgery.
Why should I choose Grange Eye Consultants for my Cataract Surgery?
We have each performed at least 12,000 cataract procedures and as high as 20,000 lens procedures. We are experts in the removal of the natural lens using the latest micro-incision phaco technology. We have been using foldable IOLs and multi-focal lenses for over two decades.
When using a multi-focal lens, accurate biometry is crucial to select the right power for your eyes. We use the latest technology to measure all aspects of the eye. Doing so enables us to achieve the best visual outcome thereby eliminating or reducing your dependence on glasses.
Hear expert eye surgeon Robert Morris discuss Cataract Process
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