Does cataract surgery hurt?

That’s a question we get asked very commonly, does cataract surgery hurt, and the simple answer is, no it doesn’t hurt. And why doesn’t it hurt, well it’s because it’s very easy to anesthetize the eye and make it completely numb. And in the vast majority of patients what we do is we numb the eye with drops and solutions, that’s all we need to do.

What patients are aware of is lots of lights, so patients are looking at a microscope light, there’s lots of water involved in the operation, and sometimes they describe it as if they’re seeing a colorful waterfall or a kaleidoscope.

Interestingly, I’ve had two artists who’ve painted what they saw at cataract surgery and it’s just like that, just like a kaleidoscope. So cataract surgery doesn’t hurt although patients are always fearful that it might.

About the Author

Mr Robert Morris

BSc(Hons), MB BS (Hons), MRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Robert Morris trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital part of the University of London. He graduated with Honours in his final examinations. Robert completed his post-graduate ophthalmic training at the renowned units in Oxford Eye Hospital and London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. Within the NHS, he has had a high volume cataract surgery practice and performed over 12,000 cataract procedures. He has an interest in squint surgery and is a national expert in this field. In addition to his NHS work, Robert manages a successful independent private practice. He continualy updates his training to keep abreast with the latest technology and techniques in refractive surgery.