The only way to treat a cataract is through surgery. The procedure is highly specialised and accurate, technically sophisticated and requires an ophthalmic surgeon with specific microsurgical skills using an operating microscope in order to visualise the tiny structures in the eye. Our consultant ophthalmologists perform cataract surgery every week and offer very good results.
Am I awake for cataract surgery?
At Clinical London, the consultant ophthalmic surgeons perform cataract surgery under local anaesthetic either with infiltrated local anaesthetic or topical anaesthetic eye drops. The surgery is done as a day case and you do not have to stay in hospital afterward overnight.
The local anaesthetic is infiltrated around the eye to numb it so that you feel no discomfort and it also prevents eye movements during the surgery. Sometimes patients elect also to have light intravenous medication to induce drowsiness and relaxation and prevent anxiety.
What happens during the cataract surgery?
During the operation, the surgeon makes a tiny incision at the edge of the cornea in order to get the microscopic instruments inside and removes the opaque lens from the eye using a special ultrasound machine (phacoemulsification). The surgeon replaces the cataract with an artificial intraocular lens.
The cataract surgeon places the intraocular lens (IOL) into the small capsule sac inside the eye which was previously part of the capsule of the original lens, and lends the IOL stability. Before the operation, this sac contains the lens and afterwards it will contain the IOL.
In some cases the surgeon needs to put a small stitch in the incision which is removed a few days later at the clinic.
How does the cataract Surgeon choose the Intraocular lens?
Prior to surgery, your eye is measured (called eye biometry) to determine the specific intraocular lens implant size.
What happens after Cataract Surgery?
After the operation, you are recommended to wear an eye pad for 24 hours, followed by putting in eye drops for a few weeks. The first follow up is often on day 1 post op for the Senior Clinica Nurse to check the wound, then the surgeon follow-up visit at one week post op to check the visual result and make sure everything is alright..
Removing the cataract allows you to see more light and enables you to focus and have a clear vision again. The results are very good with a complication rate less than 0.1%.
What is an After Cataract?
Over time (sometimes months, sometimes years), the surface of the capsule sac where the intraocular lens sits, can get cloudy as well, and blur vision again. This is called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). PCO is completely normal and the treatment is simple using a laser in clinic. It occurs in up to 20% patients within 6 months of cataract surgery. The treatment is called a YAG laser posterior capsulotomy, which is done at Clinica London under topical local anaesthetic as an out-patient.
Cataract Product Range
Our product range includes:
• Normal lens which fixes the vision for near or distance clarity, a monofocal IOL
• The premium lens which can focus is called a multifocal IOP
• Cataract and glaucoma simultaneous surgical treatment with MIGS, microscopic glaucoma stent.
Can I have Laser Cataract Surgery?
Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery automates some of the standard cataract surgery steps and is still being evaluated therefore is not routine.