It is estimated that half of people aged 65 and over in the UK will develop a cataract.
The aim of Cataract Surgery is to restore clear vision in the patient's eye. In the majority of cases, the patient will no longer require glasses for reading or seeing long distance.
What is a Cataract?
Clouding of the lens in the eye is referred to as a Cataract. The cloudiness interferes with the passage of light rays, resulting in a general dimming of vision. The condition generally becomes worse over time and with age, as the cloudiness increases.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract Surgery is performed by a consultant ophthalmologist and involves removing the cataract and replacing it with a small plastic lens. The benefits of having cataract surgery include better vision, better quality of life, increased confidence, regaining your independence and an improved sense of well-being.
At The Westbourne Centre, all cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake during the surgery, but will not feel anything during the treatment. The area around the eye is cleansed and your face is covered with a sterile drape. The eyelid is held open and surgery is carried out using a microscope. The procedure takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. You can usually remain in your own clothes throughout the procedure and walk in and out of the theatre. For safety reasons, it is common to treat one eye at a time, however if both eyes require surgery, arrangements can be made for the second eye to be operated on at a time to suit you.
Following your cataract surgery, you will be asked to stay at The Westbourne Centre for up to 1 hour in order to be monitored. Our nursing team will give you some eye drops and medication to take home and will explain how and when to use them. You will also be given some written instructions to take home and a clear shield to cover the treated eye which will need to be worn for 24 hours following your surgery. A family member or friend/carer will need to be available to take you home following your surgery and stay with you for the first 24 hours post surgery.
Possible Side Effects of Cataract Eye Surgery
The risk of complication during or after Cataract surgery is extremely low. However, as with all surgery, complications can occur. There is a small risk of infection, but this is minimised by the fully sterile theatre conditions and our highly experienced nursing team.
Private Cataract Surgery
While cataract surgery is offered to many patients through the NHS Choose and Book, some patients will choose to skip the longer waiting times and choose private cataract surgery with The Westbourne Centre.