Cataract surgery has become one of the most common surgical procedures in the UK. Cataract formation is not a disease, it is simply an ageing process of the eye. Around 50% of people over the age of 75 develop a cataract in one or both eyes and between 250,000 and 300,000 cataract operations are performed each year.
A cataract is a clouding that forms in the natural lens of the eye. It is caused by a 'denaturation' of the protein that makes up the natural lens in the eye. Age is the most common cause of cataracts but they are also related to long exposure to ultraviolet light or exposure to radiation or can be related to metabolism, for example in diabetics.
By replacing the cloudy natural lens with a synthetic lens, clear vision can be restored.
AccuVision are able to offer convenient access to cataract treatment and a variety of advanced lenses, not available through the NHS to provide the optimum improvement in your vision.
Cataract surgery at AccuVision is carried out by one of our highly experienced surgeons. The operation is conducted at a private clinic on an outpatient basis. As with all procedures, extensive diagnostic testing and planning is required before treatment can commence. The initial consultation will be performed by one of our highly experienced optometrists. If you are found suitable for treatment you will be invited for a further consultation with one of our Consultant Ophthalmic surgeons to discuss the surgery and any other questions you may have in detail. There is normally a charge for this consultation.
If you elect for treatment an interval of approximately 4-6 weeks is required in order to receive the custom made lenses to the correct specification.
Your cataract eye surgery procedure will be performed in a specialist, sterile theatre and the operation itself takes about 25 minutes. For treatment of cataract, a local anaesthetic and/or injection anaesthetic drops are used to first numb the eye. You will not therefore feel any pain with cataract eye surgery. Drops to dilate the pupil are also used. A small incision is made at the edge of the cornea through which the natural lens is removed and the new lens inserted.
The natural lens of the eye has a diameter of around 12mm, so to take it out in one piece would require an incision at least this long for cataract eye surgery. A large wound creates many complications so to overcome this problem cataract eye surgery is performed through a small, 3mm incision using a procedure called phakoemulsification. The phakoemulsification instrument has a small probe connected to an ultrasonic transducer. The ultrasonic vibrations fragment the hardened lens matter and these are drawn out through the small incision.
Once the cataract removal has been completed, an intraocular lens implant is introduced through the same small incision. Modern intraocular lenses are made from various deformable plastics and can be rolled or folded-up and injected into the eye. Once inside the capsular membrane (remnants of the natural lens), they unfold, and the optical part of the lens implant is held centrally behind the pupil by supporting loops or plates (haptics).
After your treatment you are able to go home but it is essential that you are accompanied. The treated eye will be patched and you will be given instructions for use of eye drops to prevent infection and help healing. You should notice an improvement in your vision by the next day, although the final optical outcome will settle further with time. An appointment will be made for one week after your treatment when specific aftercare schedules are decided. You should be able to drive and return back to work within a few days of Cataract Surgery. Bear in mind however, that your vision will be unbalanced during the interval between the cataracts treatment of each eye.
We use a variety of excellent quality lenses that are selected according to your prescription and desired outcome for your vision. A detailed selection can be found on the Intra Ocular Lens page
If you would like to know more about how our cataract treatments work and the way they are conducted, or wish to know about other treatments for your eyes, you can give us a call on 0330 123 2020 or just complete our consultation form. We will be only too happy to talk to you about cataract surgery or anything else you may wish to discuss regarding our eye care solutions.