Sydney CBD

PROCEDURES

Cataract Surgery

Cataract is the term used to describe opacification (or clouding) of the eyes natural lens. As it blocks the light path entering your eye, some common symptoms include: blurred vision, glare, halo and difficulty reading. It is a process which comes with time, and surgery is currently the most effectively form of treatment for this.

What causes cataracts ?

Cataract forms with age and is common amongst elderly. Some other causes include medications( steroids), retinal surgery, previous eye trauma, and other genetic/ congenital causes.

How is cataract treated ?

Cataract surgery is a safe and highly developed treatment for removing the cloudy cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens. This is done through a very small incision on the clear part of the eye. The incision is so small it usually self-seals and doesn’t require sutures. The vast majority of cataract patients have no complications during or following the surgery. A full recovery from surgery can range from a short few days to few months. Most patients will see clearer the next day after surgery.

What are the benefits of surgical correction?

The main benefits of cataract surgery include:

  • Improving your vision.
  • Improve the symptoms caused by cataracts
  • In some patients, cataract surgery is required to control eye pressure.

What are the risks or side effects of the operation?

Gritty discomfort in the eye

This is common the next day after surgery, and it should resolve within hours.

Inflammation

This is common following surgery of the eye, the eyedrops prescribed will be helpful in settling this.

Swelling

In the eye, swelling can offer in the front of the eye (cornea) or the back of the eye following surgery. Most of these will usually resolve with eye drops.

Need for glasses

It is common that most patient will need glasses if not for near, then for distance sometimes. This will be discussed during your consultations.

Second operation

While the aim of the surgery is to take the cataract out, sometimes the cataract may escape deeper into the eye. If this happens, a second surgery will be required to remove the cataract completely. Your vision may be blurred during before the second surgery is complete. Retinal detachment occurring after cataract surgery is uncommon, this will also require a second surgery to repair the retina.

Infection

This complication while rare (<1:1000), can be sight threatening. If your operated eye becomes red, painful and vision drops few days after surgery, please contact the surgery urgently or go to the nearest emergency department immediately.

Posterior capsular opacification

It can be common to see that the artificial lens becomes a bit cloudy (which may mimick cataracts again). This can be easily cleaned by our doctors using lasers in eye clinic.

Planning Your Surgery

Consultation

During your comprehensive consultation, our doctors will explain in more detail regarding the condition and what the surgery involves. You will also under precise measurement of the dimensions of your eye. This allows us to determine the best lens to replace the natural lens.

If you wear contact lenses, please ensure you stop using them for 2 weeks (soft lenses) to 4 weeks (hard lenses) before to the eye measurements for the operated eye are made.

If you have had previous laser eye surgery (PRK / LASIK / SMILE) please advise our doctors as this will affect the measurement method and calculations required to select your artificial lens.

Preparing for the surgery?

On the day of surgery, you will first attend the CBD eye clinic to check in and have eye drops in the eye. The eyedrops will dilate the pupil of the eye planned for surgery. When the dilating drops have worked, we will guide you to the operating theaters of Sydney Eye Hospital. Which is just a short walk away.

What happens during the surgery?

The cataract surgery is done under local anaesthesia. It will involve that you relax and lie flat on your back during the operation. Vast majority of the surgery will take about 10mins, however more complex cases may take longer depending on the condition of the cataract.

After the surgery, there will be an eye patch covering the operated eye. Please ensure that you have friend or family who will be able to take you home and look after you

What happens after the surgery?

We will remove the dressing over the eye the following day and examine the eye. There will be two eye drops that will need to be continued for 4 weeks.

FAQ

Can I have cataract surgery in both eye at the same time?

We do not do surgeries to both at the same time as there is a risk of have sight-threatening complication. We will arrange the second surgery for your within a short timeframe from the first operation.
The intra-ocular lens are like inbuilt glasses inside the eye. We can set your vision to be sharpest for distance or near depending on your visual requirements. Most patients prefer have clear distance vision, and don’t mind wearing glasses for when needing to see at near. Please discuss this further with our doctors during your comprehensive consultation.

After the surgery is complete, the cataract should no longer be clouding your vision. Please ensure that you

DO:
  • Remember to use the eyedrops prescribed
  • Wear the eye shield at night during sleep for at least 7 days
  • Wear protective sunglasses if going outdoors following surgery
  • You can perform gentle daily activities as usual (reading / watching TV / computers)
  • Visit an optometrist to have glasses updated once the eye is stable
AVOID
  • Avoid any strenuous activities/ exercise / contact sport
  • Avoid getting water directly into eye follow surgery for at least 14 days (eg swimming)
  • Avoid rubbing the eye direct with your fingers following surgery while the wound is healing.

Most patient who normally drive will be able to return to driving after 3-4 days following surgery (our doctors will let you know if otherwise). Once the vision recovers above the legal requirement, it is safe to return to driving. Please take time to get use to your new vision and exercise cautious when driving.

Further questions?

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us on: