Cataract surgery

Cataract surgery involves a short procedure to remove a cataract. A cataract occurs when the natural lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. The surgery replaces your cloudy lens with an artificial lens implant to improve your vision.

This implant is called an intraocular lens (IOL), and is available in a range of styles and strengths.

At Circle Health, cataract removal surgery and artificial lens replacements are carried out as a day case procedure by a specialist eye surgeon. In most patients, the operation is performed under local anaesthetic but general anaesthesia is also available if needed.

Before your treatment, your consultant will see you at a private appointment to explain the surgery, carefully assess your eyes, and decide which type and strength of intraocular lens would be most suitable for you.

Cataract surgery usually takes about 15 minutes. First, you will receive a few anaesthetic eye drops to numb the surface of your eye. A tiny incision will be made in your cornea – the transparent layer of tissue at the front of your eye – and the cataract will be removed using ultrasound energy.

Your surgeon will then insert the tiny artificial lens by rolling it up, and injecting it into your eye. The lens will then be unfolded in the right place to take the natural position of your original lens. You won’t need stitches. In most cases, cataract surgery is painless.

Recovery from cataract surgery is usually quick. You can usually leave the hospital straight after the procedure. You will receive eye drops, aftercare guidelines and an appointment to see your consultant a few days later.

Most patients are able to drive and return to work within a week, depending upon their consultant’s instructions. If both your eyes require lens replacement surgery, these procedures are typically scheduled one to two weeks apart.

Like any surgery, there are some risks associated with cataract surgery. At Circle Health, your specialist eye consultant can discuss the benefits and risks of cataract surgery and artificial lens implants with you, during a private consultation.


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Circle Health Group, 1st Floor, 30 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XH