Cataract Surgery Patient Journey

Understand the patient journey from the first consultation, to surgery day, to your final aftercare appointment.

Cataract Surgery Patient Journey

Your Free Consultation

At your consultation we assess your eyes with a series of tests and scans, including digital imaging of the eye, computer-measured glasses prescription, corneal thickness, OPD Wavefront analysis, iris recognition and internal eye pressure tests.

These tests take around 30 minutes and are pain-free. The purpose of this consultation is to establish if you are suitable for treatment. You will receive a thorough eye examination to assess your overall eye health, and a second eye test to confirm your prescription. With your optometrist, you will discuss your general health, lifestyle and personal expectations for good vision.

Your optometrist will talk you through all the relevant risks and alternatives, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions. We will then advise you of your suitability for treatment. For high prescriptions, eye drops may be applied to examine the eye and you may be unable to drive for up to 24 hours while your vision is blurred. You are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you.

Consultations are subject to a booking deposit (£10 weekdays, £30 weekends) however this is refundable after attending the consultation.

Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lenses affect the surface of your eyes, so it is crucial that you remove them before your consultation and treatment. Eye tests can sometimes be inaccurate if you have not removed your lenses for long enough, and we want to provide the most precise results possible.

  • Soft/disposable lenses: remove for two days before consultation.
  • Soft Toric (astigmatic) and extended wear soft lenses: leave out for one full week.
  • Hard, gas permeable: remove for three weeks before consultation. Soft lenses may be used instead.

Surgeon Assessment

You will meet your treating surgeon 1-2 weeks prior to your cataract surgery for an assessment. At the appointment, the surgeon will examine your eyes and confirm the best lens for you. This is based on your lifestyle, prescription, age, and overall eye health. You are also encouraged to ask any questions you have for the surgeon at this appointment.


Cataract surgery can be performed bilaterally (both eyes treated on the same day, one after the other), but this will need to be discussed with your treating surgeon. If you prefer, you can also have your eyes treated separately, a week apart, diary permitting. You will need to bring a friend or relative with you on treatment day to take you home, as your vision is likely to be blurry and not safe for driving.

Outpatient Surgery

We perform all of our treatments on an outpatient basis, meaning that you only need to be in the clinic for a few hours, and avoid an overnight stay. Patients are typically more relaxed in this setting. We advise diabetic patients to have a light snack to maintain their sugar levels on treatment day.


Around 45 minutes before surgery, a member of the nursing team will administer some anaesthetic and pupil dilation drops. In the treatment room, the area around your eye is cleaned and a sterile drape is placed on your face, with your eye showing through an opening for the surgeon to access.

Cataract Surgery

The procedure takes around 20 minutes. Your eyelid will be kept open with an eyelid holder, and the surgery is carried out by the surgeon under a microscope. Due to the anaesthetic eye drops, treatment is painless, although you may feel some pressure on your eye during the treatment. You will be fully awake throughout the procedure although, prior to treatment day, you can ask your GP to provide you with a mild sedative, making the day as stress-free as possible.

Following Surgery

Once your cataract surgery is complete, the surgeon will cover your eye with a plastic shield to prevent any touching and help the healing process. You should keep the eye shield on for the rest of the day, the first night, and then each night for one week following treatment.

We advise you to rest at the clinic for around 30 minutes before going home. After a few hours the anaesthetic eye drops wear off and you may feel some discomfort in the eye. This should fade within 36 hours, but if you feel strong pain at any point in this period, you should call the clinic.

Your Optimax surgeon will prescribe you eye drops and medication to take home, together with instructions on how to use them. Advice is provided in our Aftercare Leaflet, which your patient advisor will give you. Our overnight aftercare helpline will give you complete peace of mind, and you will have the surgeon’s emergency contact number for the first 24 hours. It is also important that you are accompanied home after surgery and to your first aftercare appointment.

Although blurry in the immediate period following treatment, your vision will slowly improve over the next month or so. The final result may be achieved after several months.

Aftercare Appointment Programme

The treatment cost includes all aftercare until you are discharged with a satisfactory result.

  Cataract Surgery
1st visit 1–2 days
2nd visit 7–10 days
3rd visit 4–6 weeks
4th visit 3–6 months (discharge if satisfactory)


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