Frequently Asked Questions
Cataract Surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) &
Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) Questions
Q. How long does it take to recover from Cataract Surgery?
A. Vision should improve within a few days, however it will take several months for the eye to heal and settle, and sometimes up to a month to resume normal activities. You should allow 3-5 days off work for recovery.
Q. Can they put you to sleep for cataract Surgery?
A. Anaesthetic drops are applied prior to surgery; you remain awake during the procedure and may return home the same day.
Q. What is the success rate of Cataract Surgery?
A. Cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries performed in the world, with millions of successful procedures performed each year - 325,000 operations are performed annually in the UK alone.
Q. What is Lens Replacement Surgery?
A. This is the replacement of the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens, implanted for the purpose of either removing cataracts or achieving independence from spectacles.
Q. Can an intraocular lens be removed and replaced?
A. In rare cases, it may be possible to removed and replace the intraocular lens if clinically necessary.
Q. Can you use your old glasses after Cataract Surgery?
A. Your prescription will change after treatment, and, depending on the type of lens chosen, you may be completely glasses-free. Over-the-counter reading glasses may still be used.
Q. What is an Intraocular lens made of?
A. Intraocular lenses are made from non-reactive materials such as silicon or acrylic.
Q. Can lens replacement surgery be redone?
A. The results for lens replacement surgery should be permanent, however in rare cases it may be possible for the lens to be removed / replaced, if clinically necessary.
Q. Is it painful to remove Cataracts?
A. Cataract Surgery is painless because a local anaesthetic is applied.
Q. What can I expect after Cataract Surgery?
A. Due to the dilating drops and the bright microscope lights, most patients find their vision is blurred after their Cataract Surgery. This normally clears up within a few hours of the operation, however, effects may continue for a day or two. We advise patients to bring a pair of sunglasses on the treatment day.
Q. How long do you have to wait to drive after Cataract Surgery?
A. Most patients' vision is significantly better within the first 24 hours of their Cataract eye surgery, however your optometrist will confirm when driving standards have been met.
Q. I've an early developing cataract in my left eye. I wear lens in that eye of +8, how can you assist?
A. We carry out cataract surgery and can correct long sighted prescriptions up to +13.00. Therefore, we can remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens that will match your refraction error and remove the need for the +8.00 lens. Suitability and outcome of surgery will be determined with your treating surgeon, and we can assess your initial suitability at a free no obligation consultation.
Q. I wear glasses and am diabetic. I wish to rid my glasses. How long before one needs another lens replacement? My diabetes is controlled and I am 67. How much will it cost?
A. The surgery provided is a permanent correction, so you should not require another lens replacement. Please note that the result of surgery will remain the same, provided the eye remains in the same condition after surgery. We can however, use laser eye surgery to enhance any results or remove any prescription change if necessary. This will be free of charge. Provided you are not using insulin and have no signs of diabetic retinopathy or damage, surgery can be considered. The cost for surgery will depend on lens selection and complexity of prescription. The details of this are provided through our website and we will confirm this during a consultation.
Q. I am interested to know how long I would have to wait for an appointment and then how long I would have to wait to have the cataract surgery? Also, why should I choose this clinic instead of the NHS services?
A. We can usually book you in for a consultation within a week and treatment usually takes place 4-6 weeks following this. We will use a prescription lens which will leave you glasses free whereas the NHS will only fit a clear lens.
Q. I am told I have a cataract forming in one eye. At present I have distance glasses and reading glasses. I wear the distance glasses whilst driving for safety. If I opt for lens replacement and cataract removal what effect will the new lenses give me? Will it be like the distortion of the glasses lenses or will it restore my previous excellent sight.
A. Removing the cataract and replacing the lens will correct the prescription naturally. Unlike your glasses, there will be no distortion to the correction achieved. Therefore, replacing the lens will restore your previous sight.
Q. Does laser eye surgery work if you wear bifocal glasses to enable you to be free of glasses?
A. It will depend on the overall prescription and correction necessary, but there are laser-eye-surgery options that are able to correct both distance and reading, called monovision or PresbyMAX. If laser eye surgery is not an effective solution, the alternative is Intra-Ocular Lens surgery using the replacement lens (RLE - Refractive Lens Exchange).
Q. I am 66, extremely long sighted (+10 in both eyes) - what are my chances of successful surgery?
A. Based on the prescription, we would only recommend lens replacement surgery. Through this surgery, if you are suitable the chances of success are very high but this will be discussed in detail during your consultation. There is also added benefit that surgery will remove your cataracts, so we can fully correct the need for glasses and remove your cataracts within the same treatment.
Q. I have a lazy eye would a lens transplant help?
A. As with laser eye surgery the lens transplant surgery is to correct the refractive error in the eye and remove the need for glasses. The only additional correction is that through lens replacement we also remove cataracts (if developed) or the risk of developing cataracts over time. If the sight through the lazy eye is corrected through glasses, then we can consider you for surgery. If however, the sight is still blurry and cannot be corrected then lens surgery would not offer anything more.
Q. I have had my cataracts removed in both eyes so have artificial fixed lenses in each eye. Is laser eye surgery still possible?
A. It is still possible to have laser eye surgery after you have had your cataracts removed but these are always seen on a case by case basis. To discuss further we would need to know your prescription and how long ago you had surgery.
Q. I wear glasses for reading only otherwise my eyesight is fine. I purchase ready made glasses from the shop. I have no prescription, would laser surgery be suitable?
A. Using laser eye surgery, we could consider monovision, which can remove the need for glasses. However, it may be better to consider an alternative surgery called a Refractive Lens Exchange. During the consultation, we will assess for both options and discuss which option would offer you the best result, considering your lifestyle.
Q. I play golf. How longer after cataract surgery before I can resume playing?
A. After cataract surgery the minimum time is 4 weeks after the second eye has treatment before you can return to gentle exercise so would say between 4-6 weeks. Your consultant will be able to tell you more after surgery depending on your healing.
Q. With the RLE surgery are you aware of any sensation during the procedure? I assume you are not asleep during surgery?
A. That is correct you are awake during the surgery but the eye is completely anaesthetised so you will feel no pain. There are mixed opinions from previous patients but the general confirmation is a slight gritty sensation which can be slightly uncomfortable and all you see is colours and shapes.
Q. I am blind in one eye. Could I have ICL in my good eye as I now need reading glasses.
A. We will not consider elective IOL or laser eye surgery where you do not have good, clear sight in both eyes. The reason for this is around risk. While the risks are very small if any damage occurs, your overall sight could become drastically impaired. Due to this surgeons are reluctant to consider surgery.
Q. Is there a way that my arcus senilis can be covered up using coloured contact lens implants?
A. We do not offer coloured lens implants and the lens typically corrects up to 7mm pupils so the diameter of the implanted lens isn't wide enough to be able to cover the arcus senilis.
Q. I'm considering ICL, but wanted to know if the operation is reversible, and if so, can I go back to wearing soft contact lenses?
A. Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery is considered reversible as the lenses can be removed if necessary. In this event it would be possible to go back to wearing soft contact lenses.
Q. I wear glasses for long sightedness & short sightedness and I have cataracts. Can I get help with this? Can I get treatment free like on the NHS?
A. As we are a private company we don't offer treatment for free. The NHS however can offer you free cataract treatment
Q. Do lens implants get rid of arcus senilis?
A. Lens surgery will not treat arcus senilis. You would be best to speak to your own optician for advice on this condition.