Cataract surgery

Safe and effective

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Cataracts are a very common condition

Cataract surgery is a proven effective treatment for cataracts. Cataracts are a very common condition, which occur when the clear lens inside your eyes starts to turn cloudy. Cataracts are related to ageing, and usually affect both eyes, but to different extents.

The first signs of cataract development are often blurred vision, dazzle and glare especially at night time, and a change in the strength of glasses you need.

There are two types of cataract: nuclear sclerosis cataracts turn the lens yellow and your colour vision changes, plus you’ll need to change glasses as you become more short-sighted.

Cortical cataracts involve the development of white streaks just under the surface of the lens. When these streaks extend from the periphery of the lens to the centre, they interfere with vision, giving rise to glare and dazzle, particularly at night time and when driving.

Treatment for cataracts

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgical removal and replacement with an artificial lens implant. Modern cataract surgery has been refined over 70 years and is now a very safe procedure with a success rate of more than 99%. At Laser Vision Scotland, our surgeons carry out more than 2,000 operations every year, and the majority of these procedures are cataract surgery.

We offer three different types of cataract surgery:

Standard cataract surgery

Multifocal cataract surgery

Toric cataract surgery

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Standard cataract surgery

Standard lens cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy lens inside the eye and replacement with a monofocal lens implant. The cataract removal procedure most commonly performed is known as phacoemulsification.

Multifocal cataract surgery

As with laser eye surgery, if you’re having cataract surgery and want to reduce your reliance on glasses you may opt for multifocal cataract surgery. This option is also available to patients with significant astigmatism.

To get the most out of multifocal cataract surgery, your eyes have to be in good health, with no sign of macular degeneration or glaucoma. In suitable patients multifocal lenses have a high success rate and high levels of patient satisfaction after cataract surgery.

Following multifocal cataract surgery, you’ll often see clearly enough to drive within 1-2 days. However it can take several months for your eyes to fully adapt (a process called neuroadaptation) to your new lenses. During this time colours and hues may seem different, and vision may fluctuate as your brain fine-tunes its focusing mechanisms.
multifocal cataract surgery in scotland
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Toric cataract surgery

A small amount of astigmatism will blur your vision slightly, while larger amounts can cause your vision to be very blurred. This type of surgery uses lenses which correct astigmatism and can give you sharper vision without the need for glasses.
Toric lenses have a rugby ball shaped surface contour, which is positioned inside your eye to neutralise existing astigmatism. Standard toric lenses do not correct near and distance vision, however toric multifocals lenses can be used.
Toric lens implants suit patients who have significant amounts of astigmatism, and don’t mind wearing glasses for reading. We may also recommend toric mono vision treatment, where your dominant eye is made as strong as possible for distance and your non-dominant eye is good for near vision.

Watch more about your cataracts and how surgery can help them:

how much is laser eye surgery

To find out which type of cataract surgery will give you the best results, make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants today.

What to expect

While the type of surgery you need may vary depending on your unique requirements, the procedure tends to be similar for most patients.

Your consultation

Consultation

At your initial assessment we’ll carry out a number of extensive eye tests to determine if you are suitable for cataract surgery, and what type of surgery is best for you.

Question time

During the consultation you’ll get to meet your surgeon and ask as many questions as you like. We’ll give you plenty of pre-treatment advice and find a date for surgery that suits you.​

Cataract surgery

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Consultation

At your initial assessment we’ll carry out a number of extensive eye tests to determine if you are suitable for cataract surgery, and what type of surgery is best for you.

Question time

During the consultation you’ll get to meet your surgeon and ask as many questions as you like. We’ll give you plenty of pre-treatment advice and find a date for surgery that suits you.​

Cataract surgery

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin non efficitur odio. Vestibulum porttitor odio at elementum pretium. Praesent et sodales ligula. Ut volutpat aliquet lectus. .

The procedure

Time

Having your cataracts removed involves a half-day in our hospital, although the procedure itself only takes around 15-20 minutes. On arrival you’ll be offered either a private side room or a seating area in our day lounge. Drops are used to dilate the pupil of your eye, and your surgeon will visit you and ask you to sign some forms.

Day patient

Cataract removal is usually carried out as a day-case under a local anaesthetic. During surgery your eye is numbed and you’ll lie on a bed looking at a bright light. You’ll see colours and movement, but will not be aware of any details of the procedure. If you think you’ll feel anxious about having surgery, we recommend asking your GP for some sedation first.

Procedure

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make a tiny cut on the surface of your eye – either with a needle or a laser, depending on what type of surgery you’re having. A special ultrasound probe is then inserted and used to gently break down and remove the cloudy lens. Your new implant is introduced to the eye and carefully positioned. At the end of the procedure an antibiotic solution is infused into the eye to protect against infection.

Time

Having your cataracts removed involves a half-day in our hospital, although the procedure itself only takes around 15-20 minutes. On arrival you’ll be offered either a private side room or a seating area in our day lounge. Drops are used to dilate the pupil of your eye, and your surgeon will visit you and ask you to sign some forms.

Day patient

Cataract removal is usually carried out as a day-case under a local anaesthetic. During cataract surgery your eye is numbed and you’ll lie on a bed looking at a bright light. You’ll see colours and movement, but will not be aware of any details of the procedure. If you think you’ll feel anxious about having surgery, we recommend asking your GP for some sedation first.

Procedure

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make a tiny cut on the surface of your eye – either with a needle or a laser, depending on what type of surgery you’re having. A special ultrasound probe is then inserted and used to gently break down and remove the cloudy lens. Your new implant is introduced to the eye and carefully positioned. At the end of the procedure an antibiotic solution is infused into the eye to protect against infection.

Aftercare

Vision

After surgery, a clear plastic shield is taped over your eye for one day to protect it. You can see through this straight away, though vision tends to be blurred for the first couple of days.

Post treatment

You’ll be given antibiotic drops to use for one week and steroid drops to use for four weeks. Cataract surgery is normally carried out on one eye at a time, around two weeks apart.

Information

We’ll give you plenty of information about what type of activities you should avoid while your eyes are healing, as well as the contact details of your surgeon in case you have any questions or concerns.

Vision

After surgery, a clear plastic shield is taped over your eye for one day to protect it. You can see through this straight away, though vision tends to be blurred for the first couple of days.

Lasek

You’ll be given antibiotic drops to use for one week and steroid drops to use for four weeks. Cataract surgery is normally carried out on one eye at a time, around two weeks apart.

Information

We’ll give you plenty of information about what type of activities you should avoid while your eyes are healing, as well as the contact details of your surgeon in case you have any questions or concerns.

Catarat Surgery FAQs

A small incision is made in the surface of the eye. Ultrasound is used to dissolve the natural, cloudy lens. Once this is achieved, an artificial lens in implanted. The incision is small so heals by itself over a couple of days.
Whilst there are risks associated with any surgery, cataract surgery is one of the safest surgical procedures. Approximately 400,000 are carried out each year in the UK with success rates above 98%. At Laser Vision Scotland success rates are above 99.5%.
A cataract can be removed at any time and there is strong evidence to suggest that sooner soon it is removed, the more successful surgery will be
Cataract surgery is a relatively quick procedure. From walking into the operating theatre to leaving is usually only around 20 minutes.
If a cataract is identified on the lens of the eye then you can have surgery to remove it. In fact there is evidence to suggest that the sooner you have a cataract removed, the better the result will be. If you’re having surgery with the NHS, cataracts usually have to reach ‘maturity’ before they are removed but this can take a long time and eyesight may be severely impaired by this stage.
You will leave the operating theatre with a clear shield over your operated eye. This is to protect it from the outside environment while healing takes place. One of our nurses will escort you to our recovery suite where you can rest, have refreshments and relax for a couple of hours. Your ophthalmologist will check on you before discharging you from the hospital. He will also give you instructions for your tailor made aftercare. Typically, you will be given antibiotic eye drops for a few days after surgery. These will be self administered while you continue our recovery at home. Most people find that after a couple of days their vision is better than it was before surgery and continues to improve over the next few weeks.
Don’t worry, your eye is held in position while you undergo surgery. We ask you to stay as still as you can and most people find the whole experience relatively relaxing.
At Laser Vision Scotland, cataract surgery starts at £2350 for standard lenses per eye. Trifocal toric lenses are £3860 per eye.
Expect to have blurred vision and discomfort for a couple of days after surgery. Vision usually improves over the first few days. Avoid rubbing you eyes and if necessary, wear the eye shield provided to keep your eyes safe, especially at night time. Cataracts tend to dull colours so after surgery, colours may seem brighter. You will have to administer antibiotic drops for the first few days, then after a week or so you can resume normal activities. Always follow the advice of your ophthalmologist.
Although rare, the most common cause of blurred vision after cataract surgery is posterior capsular opacification. Otherwise known as a secondary cataract, it is when the membrane, which is purposefully left behind after surgery, becomes cloudy. This can be corrected with surgery.
Cataract surgery performed by an experienced consultant ophthalmologist will not result in blindness. Leaving cataracts untreated often will lead to blindness.
Cataract surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic but can be done under general anaesthetic if preferred. For local anaesthetic, drops are used with no needles or injections.
At Laser Vision Scotland we recommend waiting until vision to your first eye returns to normal before the second surgery is carried out. This is usually seven days after the first operatio
You will not be able to see very much during surgery. Your vision will be very blurry and you might be able to see bright lights and colours.
Vision is restored quickly. After a few hours most people have better vision than before surgery. The eyes continue to heal over the next few days and is fully recovered after a week or two.
Anything from a few hours to 48 hours.
Before surgery a harmless ultrasound will be used to test the size and shape of the eye. These tests help determine the best artificial lens for implantation
Stitches are very rarely required in cataract surgery. When stitches are needed they are removed after four to six weeks.
Cloudy vision caused by cataracts doesn’t improve by itself. Vision will gradually deteriorate as will colour and brightness, which become duller. Cataracts will eventually cause blindnes
Swelling in a cornea after cataract surgery is rare but if it does occur it is usually temporary and will clear within a couple of weeks. If you are concerned you should always contact your ophthalmologist.
Your surgeon will provide advice on the specific eye shield you have been given. As a general rule, the shield can usually be removed after a few hours but should be replaced for nighttime for one night.
Glare usually improves within a few days. Using a visor or sunglasses can reduce symptoms.
Yes, once the natural lens of the eye is removed it is impossible for a cataract to reform.

Remember

We’re here to help and offer any advice you need. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with one of our consultants, do get in touch. You can find out about the cost of cataract surgery on our pricing page..
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