It is causing so much blurring of your vision that it is
preventing you from doing those things you want to do, or So what should I do?
need to do, then it is possible to carry out an operation to
remove the natural lens, to try to improve the quality of your It is important to understand that just because you have a
vision. This operation is called a cataract extraction and lens cataract it does not mean that you have to have a cataract
implant. operation. The time you should consider a cataract operation
is when you feel your vision is causing enough problems to
What does a cataract operation involve? accept the small degree of risk that is involved in surgery.
The operation takes about half an hour and is usually There is no great benefit in operating sooner than you feel
performed under local aesthetic, so you are fully conscious, necessary.
but the eye is numbed so you don’t feel any pain. This means
that most patients don’t need to stay in hospital overnight. What happens if I decide I want surgery?
During the operation the cloudy lens is removed from inside Your Optometrist will go through the information with you and
the eye and a permanent implant lens is inserted in its place. can help you decide whether you want to be treated. The
This is done through an incision in the clear window of the Optometrist will forward your details to the Choice Support
eye, which is usually small enough to seal it-self without Service. They will ring you within three days. They may
stitches. discuss your general health and they will help you choose a
hospital and book your appointment.
Are there any risks with cataract surgery?
All operations carry risks of complications and cataract
surgery is no different. The vast majority of people who have You must have an eye check after your operation.
a cataract operation can see better afterwards, but there is a It is expected that you will require glasses after surgery if only
small risk that problems arise that can leave your vision for reading. After about four weeks you will need to visit your
worse. Usually it is only slightly worse, but very rarely a Optometrist for an eye test and it is usually necessary to
serious complication can occur that can leave you with no change your glasses to get the full benefit of the operation.
sight at all in the operated eye. Less serious complications
can often be treated but this can involve additional operations. Information about your treatment will be shared with your
Optometrist, GP and Wiltshire Choice Support Service. All
Overall cataract surgery is very successful in improving most information will be treated in confidence.
people’s vision so this information is not intended to put you
off seeking surgery if your sight is causing significant
problems in your daily life.
Version 5 January 2008
A guide to CATARACT SURGERY
As you have received this leaflet, you have been told that you
may benefit from a cataract operation and now need to think
about the options available.
The National Health Service (NHS) is now offering patient’s
choice about when and where they have their cataract
This leaflet gives information about cataract surgery.
What is a cataract?
Inside everybody’s eye there is a small lens that focuses the
picture in the eye. When you are young, this lens is crystal
clear but as we get older the lens tends to become cloudier,
which makes the picture inside the eye cloudier too. It can
also cause problems with glare in bright light or make you
What can be done about it?
As you get older you are likely to have a degree of cloudiness
of the lens of eye, but this does not cause harm to the eye. If
Version 5 January 2008