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.
All lenses can cause glare issues, as can cataracts, or just having naturally large pupils. Glare issues are now uncommon after cataract surgery, but they are slightly more common after trifocal surgery than monofocal surgery.
Basically the same. With trifocals, you could also define failure after surgery as ‘needing glasses’. So the criteria for success after trifocal surgery is more stringent.
Without any insurance cover the cost on a self fund basis is around £3700 per eye (over £7000 for both eyes). With insurance involved the total cost will be nearer to £1500 per eye. Bear in mind there may be some margin for error on this based on your indiviudal insurance company.
If your recovery is normal, you should be able to reapply make up two to three weeks post operatively. As always with eyes, be as gentle as you can be.