How do eye surgeons perform cataract surgery?

In terms of the actual procedure, we were the first with keyhole surgery. We make a small incision into the eye of approximately 2 – 2.2 millimetres. We use an ultrasound probe to liquefy the lens, remove it from the eye and then we fold up a lens and insert that through that small incision into the eye.

And so, what we can do is, get a lens which is six millimetres across, or the size of a penny, through an incision about a third of that size. It’s a bit like the ship going into the bottle.

In terms of the spectacle prescription postoperatively the vast majority of people want to have good distance vision and happy to put on reading glasses. You can offer a situation where that one eye is used for distance and one eye is used for reading. And this is called Monovision. And the third option is to use a bifocal or multifocal intraocular lens to give to give you simultaneously a good distance and good near intermediate vision. This is something that we discuss very carefully with patients and it’s, for us, tailored on an individual basis. So we need to determine what the patient requires, what they want to achieve with surgery, what they do for hobbies or for their work, and then we try to match that with the lens technology we want to use for them.

More about Paul Rosen

Paul Rosen is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in laser eye surgery, cataract surgery, and the treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal diseases. He has over 20 years experience in treating people with eye problems. Paul is invited to lecture on cataract and refractive surgery both nationally and internationally. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. Paul has served as the President of the UK and Ireland Society of Refractive Surgeons and is currently the President of the European Society of Corneal and Refractive Surgery. More recently I’d been appointed as a member of the NICE Cataract Guidelines Committee and also on the Refractive Surgery Subcommittee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.