What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in the world. It’s a safe procedure, carried out as a day patient, with excellent visual outcomes almost straight after surgery and with very little down time. In the safe hands of your specialist eye surgeon, you can look forward to a whole new lease of life.

At Frankston Eye and Laser Centre we use the latest, most effective surgical techniques and state-of-the-art technology for safe and accurate corneal, cataract and refractive eye treatments.

Cataract surgery consultation and assessment

The journey to renewed vision starts with a friendly and comprehensive consultation. We carry out a detailed assessment during which your eyes are scanned, measured, and tested to determine your need and suitability for cataract surgery. A dilating drop will be instilled to increase the size of your pupil so he can view your eye’s internal structure. (We suggest you bring sunglasses to this appointment as it will seem bright and bit blurry when you leave.) We give you all the time you need to ask questions, talking you through the procedure step-by-step and discussing the best lens implant options for you.

Types of lens implants

During cataract surgery the natural clouded lens of your eye is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). There are many types of modern implants to choose from and your eye specialist will help you decide the best option for you. In recommending the one that best suits your needs, he considers not just the eye itself but importantly, your visual needs and lifestyle. In most cases, lenses will also help correct your prescription, so as well as being free from cataracts, you can look forward to being free from glasses too.

  • Single vision lens (standard monofocal) – generally focused for distance

  • Single vision toric lens (monofocal) – to correct astigmatism

  • Presbyopia correcting lens (multifocal) – to give reading vision

  • Multifocal toric lenses – to correct astigmatism and give reading vision

During your consultation, we will discuss the benefits of each option, taking great care to answer all your questions and offer expert advice.

The Surgical Procedure

While assessments and follow up appointments are carried out in our consulting rooms, cataract surgery is performed as a day procedure, locally at Frankston Private Hospital. Arriving about an hour before the surgery, you’ll be given twilight sedation to help you relax and eye drops to anaesthetise the eye. There are no injections around the eye to worry about, therefore no pain or bruising, and immediately following treatment your eye is free to move and blink. An anaesthetist will monitor your comfort throughout.

During the procedure, your surgeon gently makes a tiny self-sealing incision in your cornea, through which he dissolves and then removes the old lens, before expertly inserting the new lens implant especially chosen for you. You won’t be able to see or feel the new lens, which requires no upkeep and naturally becomes a permanent part of your eye, giving you lifelong clear vision.

Overall, cataract surgery takes less than 20 minutes, although you may be at the hospital for two hours or longer to allow good time for preparation, post-operative evaluation and care. To ensure healing and comfort of your first eye, your second eye surgery is typically performed 1-2 weeks later.

After Surgery

After surgery, recovery is very quick, and you’ll be able to see and blink straight away. Healing is rapid and within one or two days, most patients experience the joy of brighter colours and sharper vision. To assist healing, we prescribe medicated eye drops for use over the next four weeks following surgery.

Your surgeon will see you 1-2 days after surgery for a detailed check-up. If you work in an office, you can return in a few days, while dusty environments are best avoided for 7-10 days.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world, and there’s less than a one in a thousand chance that your vision will be worse than before. You can rest assured that you are in the hands of highly qualified and experienced experts in their fields.

FAQs

There is only a small out of pocket expense if your health insurance covers the procedure. For those patients who are uninsured, there are various affordable options.

Typically, 4-5 days is enough, although if you work in a dusty environment, you might need more time off.

The aim of cataract surgery is to improve your vision and reduce your dependence on glasses, and only around 10% of patients will need minimal power glasses for distance vision. Patients with standard single vision lens implants will still need reading glasses. Using multifocal lens implants reduces the need for reading glasses, but occasionally glasses may be required for fine print.