What to expect before Cataract Eye Surgery

Can Cataracts spread from one eye to the other?

No, Cataracts don't spread from eye to eye. However, Cataracts can often develop simultaneously in both eyes.

Is it possible to have both eyes treated at the same time?

Unlike Laser Eye Surgery, bilateral treatment (both eyes treated together) is not suitable for Cataract patients. If both eyes need treatment, it is advisable that only one eye is treated at a time. The other eye could be treated a week later. This is done for safety reasons and in case of infection.

Is a laser used to remove my Cataract?

Cataracts are removed using ultrasound, not laser. This process is called Phacoemulsification. It uses sound waves to gently break up the Cataract which is then extracted from the eye.

Is the procedure painful?

The procedure is painless because a local anaesthetic is applied.

What would I be able to see immediately after the operation?

Due to the dilating drops and the bright microscope lights, most patients find their vision is blurred after the operation. 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.

Will I require glasses in the future?

Your treatment is a permanent procedure. A part from some patients with monofocal lenses, who may need readers our aim is to make patients as spectacle-free as possible.

What are the possible complications of Cataract surgery?

Complications during or after a Cataract Eye Surgery are rare. However, no surgery is 100% risk free and complications can and do occur. Although low, there is an unavoidable risk of infection which occurs in 1 in 5000 patients. The use of full sterile theatre conditions minimises this risk as much as possible. You will also be checked for infection at every aftercare consultation. Please read the Aftercare Advice Leaflet for important information and refer to the Agreement and Consent Form, both provided on treatment day, for a full list of possible complications.

The most common complaint which can occur in up to half of all patients within five years of surgery, is called Posterior Capsular Opacification. It is also referred to as secondary cataract as it represents a clouding of the artificial lens. This condition is treated with a very quick and simple procedure using a YAG laser. If this occurs within a year of surgery, the YAG eye treatment will be free.

Would I have to stay overnight?

You are not required to stay overnight but you will have an aftercare appointment the day after your surgery, so you may prefer to stay locally. You'll need to have someone accompany you home.

Would I be able to drive following surgery?

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.

How soon can I start wearing make-up again?

Eye make-up should be avoided for two week following your surgery. However, you can wear lipstick, foundation and powder straight after your surgery.