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Frequent questions

Frequent questions

Cataract surgery has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life so it is important not to delay having the operation for inappropriate reasons.

Frequent Questions

Modern cataract surgery has an overall success rate of around 98%. The wonderful improvements in the operation which have been made over the last 20 years have made it possible for far more people to undergo safe surgery. It is no longer necessary to spend long periods convalescing after the operation and the likelihood of complications is now lower than ever before

In some people it can take years before the cataract is bad enough to need an operation, whilst others can go almost completely blind in six months. In patients who are young or have diabetes, cataracts usually progress more quickly. It is difficult to predict how fast the progression will be in a particular person.

No, the cataract cannot regrow. However, occasionally the posterior capsule behind the new lens implant becomes opaque and needs to be divided with the YAG laser. This also only occurs once, so you will not need to have this done again.

There is no set interval between operations. Sometimes the second operation is done a few days later and in other cases it is several years. The only thing that is definite is that two eyes are not done at the same.

When your cataract is removed it is replaced with a small clear plastic lens , without which you would need extremely strong glasses to focus. So all patients receive this plastic lens implant known as an intraocular lens or IOL. Usually the IOL is in focus for distance. However if you want to use reading glasses less, you may have the IOL for close focus, have one eye each for far and near (monovision) or have trifocal lens implants in each eye.

The most common type of cataract surgery, known as “phacoemulsification”, or phaco for short, uses ultrasound to break up the cataract into a fine powder called “emulsificate”. This is flushed out of the eye with a special fluid (BSS). An intraocular lens (IOL) is then inserted to where the cataract previously existed within the eye. Almost all patients do think their surgery was performed using a laser. This was very popular perhaps 5 years ago. However the long terms studies now available have not found enough advantage to justify the significant additional cost of a laser procedure due to the high purchase, use and maintenance costs of the laser.