Cataract surgery

What are Cataracts?

Cataract refers to clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. This causes blurred vision that may not be correctable with new glasses. 

Cataract is usually related to ageing, although some people may be born with a lens opacity, or they may develop cataract as a result of eye trauma, past eye surgeries, medications, or inflammatory eye conditions.

Treatment for cataract

Treatment becomes necessary when the clouding of the lens affects vision and impacts on your daily living. Cataract treatment involves surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear plastic lens that is specifically calculated for your eye. Cataract surgery is usually performed as day surgery, with the assistance of a specialist anaesthetist. Local anaesthetic is often instilled around the eye to minimise any sensation within the eye during surgery, and a mild sedative may also be given to aid relaxation. Sutures are not required in routine cases, and the eye will be covered with an eye pad and shield after the procedure until the following day.

Complex cataract surgery

Sometimes it is necessary to remove the cataract or artificial lens when it is unstable or displaced within the eye. In these cases, the vitreous gel at the back of the eye often needs to be removed first through a surgical procedure called a pars plana vitrectomy. Once the vitreous gel is cleared, if there is an existing artificial lens, this may be re-positioned and secured within the eye. Alternatively, a new lens may need to be implanted and sutured to the eye wall. Other special types of lenses and surgical techniques may also be required in these complex cases and if needed, these will be discussed with you at your appointment.

How long does it take to recover from treatment?

Recovery from cataract surgery is usually quick, ranging from 24 hours to 7 days.

It is important to rest for the first 7 days after surgery, and to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. The eye must also be kept dry for the first week. Cleaning around the eye should be done with sterile saline or sterile water. It is also important to avoid touching the eye with soiled hands or tissues to avoid infection.

During your first post-operative visit, we will discuss when you will be able to drive again. Most patients are able to resume driving within the first post-operative week.

Like all surgery, there are important risks involved in cataract surgery, which will be carefully explained at your initial consultation and throughout your post-operative recovery period.