Treatment & Surgical Information2021-10-01T00:28:08+00:00

Surgical Procedures and Information

Cataract Surgery

What is a cataract?2021-07-01T03:53:55+00:00

A cataract is an opacity within the lens of the eye. At birth, the lens is usually clear, like glass, but in cataracts, it is no longer perfectly transparent. There are different types of cataracts, including nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataracts. Cataracts cause blurred vision, glare, and sometimes double vision. They usually progress very slowly and only need treatment if visual symptoms are troubling.

What is involved in cataract surgery?2021-07-01T03:54:18+00:00

Cataract surgery is performed in a hospital or day surgery unit as a day procedure. The operation is performed with the help of an anaesthetist who administers a short acting intravenous sedative, followed by a local anaesthetic around the eye. The cataract surgery will take approximately 15 minutes. You need to lie flat on your back and remain still for the duration of the surgery. Let your surgeon know if you anticipate any problems with this. The surgery requires 3 small incisions through the cornea, the lens is removed by a process known as a phacoemulsification, which emulsifies and removes the lens by aspiration. An artificial lens in inserted in the same location that the cataractous lens used to be, that is behind the iris and pupil. The lens lasts forever.

What to expect leading up to the day of surgery2021-07-01T03:54:43+00:00

You will be contacted by the hospital or day surgery unit with your admission times in the week of your surgery. Please call our office if you have not received your admission time by the day before surgery. Usually you will need to present 1-2 hours before the time of surgery and expect to go home 3-4 hours later. You will need to arrange to have a responsible adult take you home and stay with you following surgery.

Sometimes the measurement of the eye that allows us to calculate the correct power of the intraocular lens needs to be measured a second or third time prior to surgery. You may be contacted to attend the clinic for this to be done. Some patients with a history of macular or inflammatory eye disease may be started on anti-inflammatory medications prior to surgery and should continue with these for one month after surgery

On the day of surgery2021-07-01T03:55:15+00:00

Ensure you take all of your usual medication before 6 am. Type 2 Diabetics should omit tablets/insulin on the morning of surgery. Do not eat food or drink milk for 6 hours prior to surgery, however, water can be drunk up to 2 hours before surgery.

Please wear comfortable clothing to the hospital/day surgery unit as you will remain in these clothes for the surgery. It is advised to leave jewellery and valuables at home. The nursing staff, anaesthetist and the Ophthalmologist will check several times your name and the procedure being done. The nurses will administer eye drops to dilate the pupil of the eye being operated on. The anaesthetist will administer the sedation and local anaesthetic around the eye. After this, you will not feel any pain, and may not see much out of this eye for a few hours. You will be taken into the operating theatre for your surgery.

After cataract surgery2021-07-01T03:55:59+00:00

A shield and sometimes an eye pad will be placed over the eye. Keep this on overnight unless otherwise instructed. The operated eye will have increased tearing and some discharge after the surgery, this is normal. The shield will be removed and eye cleansed at your post-operative appointment. You may be aware of some discomfort as the local anesthetic wears off. You may take paracetamol if required.

You will notice that your vision is blurry for a few days as the pupil remains dilated for 24 hours and there may be some swelling of the cornea. Each day the vision should improve. Your eye will feel scratchy for 1-2 days and then intermittently for 1-2 months. There may be some bruising which can be substantial at times. Usually, this is related to the anaesthetic required to numb your eye and will take 2-3 weeks to improve.

What to avoid after surgery2021-07-01T03:56:25+00:00
  1. Rubbing your eye. Use the hard shield when sleeping for 1 week after surgery.
  2. Swimming for 1 week including spa and opening your eyes underwater.
  3. Heavy lifting or straining for 1 week

For more information about Cataract Surgery please view this link from the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

Other surgical procedures:

Please contact us to speak to our friendly receptionist for further information or to book an appointment.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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