The day of surgery and the procedure

Most people lose a bit of sleep worrying about the surgery!

I tell my patients that if you can tolerate a filling, from a very good dentist, who gives you an anaesthetic that means you feel no pain, then you can have cataract surgery. The usual answer is ‘I hate going to the dentist!’ .

My point , based on a questionnaire we performed on a 100 patients, is that 90 people said the operation was more comfortable and less stressful than having a dental filling. Please read the testimonials to get a sense of what patients actually said?

On the day:

Arrive about an hour before the operating list start for eye drops to dilate the pupil of the eye undergoing surgery.

See me prior to the operation to confirm the consent paperwork, put an arrow over the eye, and ask any last minute questions.

Wear your own clothes and eat and drink as normal.

The operation:

lie on an operating table which is like a reclining armchair, in that it allows you be comfortable, without being too flat, and that allows the knees to bend to take pressure off your back.

I will instill drops that numb your eye, and clean the skin around the eye with iodine.

The eyelashes are stuck to the eyelids with a plastic clear drape, leaving your nose and mouth completely uncovered, so you will not feel claustrophobic and you will breathe easily.

The eyelids are held open with a spring which feels like a finger and thumb holding the eyelids open.

We use a microscope with a very bright light looking into the eye, meaning you cannot see any of the surgery. Some people see a light show of blues and pinks and others just a blurr of shadows.

The surgery lasts around 15 minutes. It is not a race so it can take a bit longer sometimes. You can talk if you want?

If you wish one of my team can hold your hand?

The sensations you may feel are usually the cool fluid wetting the eye, occasionally pressure sensations, but not pain as such. The operation is weird but not painful.