Assessment for cataract
When you see the consultant for an assessment for cataract, they will discuss with you whether you want to have your cataract surgery done under local anaesthesia (which is the most common way of doing it), or under general anaesthetic. Most people elect for local anaesthesia which is pain-free throughout your operation. The surgeon does the local anaesthesia cataract surgery with anaesthetic drops, or they can also make a small injection just like the dentist does, which puts the eye entirely numb and asleep. Local anaesthetic surgery is when you are awake and can hear everything that is going on in the room and even have some nice relaxing music playing, but your eye is completely asleep. A few patients feel nervous about having cataract surgery under local anaesthetic and elect for local sedation as well as the local anaesthetic, or for a general anaesthetic. If you need local sedation, an additional consultant anaesthetist will attend your surgery. You can discuss all of your anxieties and fears with the surgeon at the assessment consultation. Once you decide what type of anaesthesia you are going to have for your cataract surgery, you will either see the nurse that day or come back to see the nurse to have eye measurements called biometry. During this appointment, the nurse will calculate what size intraocular lens the surgeon will choose to replace your natural lens. The specialist ophthalmologists, Mr Jaheed Khan and Ms Laura Crawley, will also discuss what your visual needs are after cataract surgery with you so that they can choose the best intraocular lens for these requirements. Intraocular lenses come in different sizes (a bit like shoe sizes), and the most commonly used ones are between the sizes of 18 and 24, though some are outside that range as well. The nurse performs the biometry tests in the technical room here at Clinica London. The nurse will provide a little readout on a piece of paper which she then hands to your specialist, and he or she will decide what size intraocular lens you will require so that you have the least post-operative disruption as possible.