If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who suffer from cataracts, then here at Optimax we could be able to help you. Cataract surgery has become one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, as well as one of the safest, and we pride ourselves on providing a high-quality, professional service – a reputation that has been crafted over 30 years of hard work in the industry.
Although advances in modern technology mean cataract removal surgery is one of the safest medical procedures, we appreciate that the decision to go ahead is one to be carefully mulled over. The cost, risk, benefits and recovery time are all elements to be considered, which is why we’ve taken the time to run through any concerns you might have right here.
Enjoying clear, unimpaired vision can be truly life-changing, so read on to find out more about Optimax and how we offer the best cataract surgery in the UK.
What is cataract surgery?
Cataracts form when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy as a result of eye tissues breaking down and proteins clumping together. They impair vision and can only be rectified with cataracts treatment. The surgery involves removing your eye's natural, clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one.
Cataracts tend not to have any symptoms in their early stages, but you will notice them when they grow large enough to prevent light from passing through the lens. Symptoms at this stage include cloudy or double vision, faded colours and haloes when looking at bright lights. Cataracts get worse with time and usually affect people in their 70s, but they can occur at any age.
During cataract surgery, we remove the eye’s natural, clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one – either a monofocal or multifocal lens, depending on your visual requirements.
If you need to wear glasses, a new lens with the correct focusing power is implanted so that glasses are no longer required. This includes improvement in both reading and distance vision when a multifocal lens is used.
Transparent prices, no hidden costs.
We've made it simple. Our cataract surgery cost is fixed so there are no surprises, regardless of the lens you choose.Find out more
We’re with you every step of the way.
Follow the patient journey, from the initial consultation through to treatment day. Achieve the vision you deserve!Find out more
Meet Optimax's cataract surgery team.
Our surgeons are qualified medical practitioners with a special interest, and decades of experience and a special interest in cataract surgery.Find out more
Aftercare for Cataracts
One year free aftercare for cataract surgery
We want to ensure that you are satisfied with the results of your procedure and with your overall Optimax experience.Find out more
Cataract Surgery FAQs
Have you got an important question?
Chances are it’s been asked before, so check our FAQs for answers to the essential things you need to know.Find out more
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is performed by the NHS more often than any other procedure. According to the National Ophthalmology Database, approximately 434,000 operations were undertaken in England and Wales in 2017-18, and the NHS describes the risk of serious complications arising from cataracts treatment as “very low”.
The risk of infection occurs in 1 in 1,000 patients – or 0.1% – and you will be meticulously checked at all of your aftercare appointments. The most common after-effect is Posterior Capsular Opacification, which usually manifests itself as clouded vision and is easily treated.
What is the success rate of the cataract surgery procedure?
We’re proud to report that 95% of people who come to Optimax for cataracts treatment achieve the minimum driving standard or better.
What are the benefits of cataract removal surgery?
A successful cataract removal procedure should leave you with the ability to see things clearly and in focus. You should also be able to differentiate between colours and not see as much glare when looking into bright lights.
Is cataract surgery painful?
No. We will apply anaesthetic eyedrops prior to your cataract surgery procedure. Your surgery will be carried out using ultrasound, rather than a laser. Soundwaves break up the cataract, which is then removed from your eye.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
Unlike some of our competitors, our cataract surgery costs are not dependent on your prescription. We have two fixed prices, depending on whether you opt for a monofocal (£2,745 per eye) or multifocal lens (£3,495 per eye). As our costs are fixed, there are no surprise fees during the course of your cataracts treatment. We also offer payment plans, including up to 12 months interest-free credit.
Click here for more information on our cataract surgery costs.
How long does cataract surgery take?
The operation itself usually lasts approximately 10 minutes. However, please be aware that you may be in the theatre for around 30 minutes, while you might be at the clinic for up to four hours on the day. Your visit will include preparation time, a chat with the surgeon and discussions with a patient advisor, who will run you through your post-surgery care and medication.
Is cataract surgery permanent?
Cataract surgery is permanent, although we do offer laser top up treatment and piggyback lenses at an additional cost if your vision requires any fine tuning. We aim to ensure our patients become as glasses-free as possible, although some people with monofocal lenses may still need spectacles for reading.
Can I have cataract surgery on both eyes at once?
It is not suitable to have cataract surgery on both eyes at the same time. If you have cataracts in both, we recommend a week’s waiting period before having the second eye treated, for safety reasons and to prevent infection.
How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?
Your vision should show a significant improvement within 24 hours post-cataract surgery, although it may take a couple of days to settle. It will gradually become clearer over the next few weeks as your eyes heal and enjoying the full effect may take a couple of months. We recommend 3-5 days off work for recovery.
What aftercare will I receive post-cataract surgery?
Here at Optimax, we’re firm believers that our relationship doesn’t end once you’ve undergone the operation. We pride ourselves on taking excellent care of our patients, which is why you’ll have a number of appointments after the procedure until you are discharged with satisfactory results.
A day or two after your cataract surgery, you will be seen at your consultation clinic, with another visit to follow a week or so later. We’ll also schedule in a third meeting around 4-6 weeks on from the operation, with a fourth to take place 3-6 months post-surgery, where you’ll be discharged if the results have proven satisfactory.
Click here to find out more about our superb cataract surgery aftercare programme.
Will I still need glasses after having cataract surgery?
For patients with monofocal lenses, reading glasses may still be required even after undergoing cataract removal surgery. However, our objective is to allow our customers to see clearly without the use of glasses on a permanent basis, which is done by inserting an artificial multifocal lens.
How soon can I drive after cataract surgery?
Most patients who undergo cataracts treatment show major improvements in their vision within the first 24 hours. However, it will be up to your optometrist to confirm when driving standards have been met and you can get behind the wheel again.
Why should I come to Optimax for cataracts treatment?
Here are just some of the reasons why we’ve become the top providers of cataract surgery in the UK:
- Experience: Having opened in 1991, we have been providing private eye surgery for nearly three decades, with thousands of operations performed in that time.
- Fixed Costs: If you opt for monofocal lenses, it will cost £2,745 per eye, whereas multifocal lenses are charged at £3,495 per eye. Unlike some of our competitors, our prices won’t change, whatever your prescription. We offer fixed costs with no additional charges, and you can pay for your cataract surgery with interest-free credit for up to 12 months. Click here for more information on our cataract surgery costs.
- Success rate: 95% of our patients achieve the minimum driving standard or better after coming to us for their cataract removal surgery.
- Convenience: We boast 20 clinics all over the UK, with cataract surgery performed in half a dozen of those, so there’s a good chance there’ll be a location that’s near to you.
- Trustworthiness: We boast a rating of ‘Excellent’ from almost 1,800 reviews on Trustpilot, so you can be fully confident that you’ve made the right choice in coming to us for your private cataract surgery. What’s more, all Optimax surgeons are Members or Fellows of the The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and are General Medical Council registered. Should you wish to know more about our surgeons’ qualifications and experience, please feel free to visit their profiles.
- Aftercare: We pride ourselves on our friendly, professional service even after your cataract surgery has been performed, which is why we offer our patients an excellent aftercare programme, consisting of regular post-operation visits until you are discharged with satisfactory results. Find out more about our cataract surgery aftercare programme.
How does the cataract surgery procedure work?
Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a custom- made one. Under local anaesthetic, a small incision is made in the side of the eye, under 2.8 mm in length. This incision is so small it does not need stitches and heals naturally.
The cataract is removed through a process called phacoemulsification or "phaco", in which the cataractous lens is broken up using ultrasonic waves, which are used to liquify the cloudy contents of the lens before a suction tube removes it. An intraocular lens implant is then placed in your eye.
The procedure takes only about 10 minutes, although you may be in theatre for around half an hour and you could be in the clinic for up to four hours, to allow for adequate preparation time as well discussions with your surgeon and patient advisor.
How do I know if I’m eligible for cataracts treatment?
Cataracts tend to affect people in their 70s, although they can occur at any age, and if you have a cataract then there is a clinical need for surgery, so the vast majority will be classed as suitable. However, patients must be at least 18 to be considered for cataracts treatment and please note that we will not perform the procedure on anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, as the fluctuating hormones can affect your vision.
There are other factors which may determine whether you are eligible for cataract removal surgery, such as your pupil size and corneal thickness, but we will be only too happy to run through all of these considerations with you when you get in touch with us.
How do I book my cataract eye surgery consultation?
Should you want more information on getting cataracts treatment with Optimax, you can request a free info pack, book a consultation or request a callback. Your consultation will be extremely detailed and we only charge a fully refundable deposit of £10, or £30 if you book your visit for a weekend.
If you decide you want to proceed with having cataract surgery, you will have an assessment a week prior to the procedure, just to ensure the surgeon is happy with everything. The time between an initial enquiry and undergoing the operation tends to be around one month and with the treatment available in half a dozen locations around the UK – including Liverpool, Leicester and London – there should be a clinic at a convenient distance from you.
Types of lenses
There are many types of lenses which suit different people, depending on your lifestyle and prescription. At Optimax, we offer a range of monofocal, multifocal or trifocal lenses. These allow you to have sharp vision for multiple distances, eliminating the need for reading glasses while removing your cataracts at the same time. During your consultation, the best lenses and your options are explained to you. Some complex lenses can be custom-made for you at an additional cost.
The NHS and cataracts
The NHS does not allow “top up” fees and this means that the best lenses are not necessarily available to you. The opportunity to be free of glasses could be lost for ever.
Cataract surgery is often used before a cataract is formed for the purposes of eliminating the need to wear glasses. In this case it is called Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and is exactly the same procedure.
Private Health Insurance
We are proud to work alongside recognised providers for cataracts treatment with Aviva, AXA, BUPA, Cigna and Vitality.