Helping you to see clearly again
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed eye operation. It has a high success rate due to the high-level of expertise amongst Australian surgeons.
We offer the latest technique of laser-assisted cataract surgery which provides more accuracy. All your cataract removal options will be clearly outlined to you by your surgeon. We provide a highly personalised service and our team are on hand to answer all your questions.
When is the best time to treat cataracts?
Many people believe cataracts have to be ‘ripe’ (in a highly advanced stage) before they can be removed. This is no longer true. Today, cataract surgery is a procedure that can be typically performed as soon as you and your physician feel your vision interferes with the quality of your life.
What happens if cataracts go untreated?
Over time, the clouded area of your lens can become larger and thicker, causing your sight to become worse. This could take anywhere from a few months to many years. Eventually, your entire lens can cloud and cause blindness.
How successful is cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery has an overall success rate of 99% or greater. Continuous innovations in techniques and instruments make the procedure safer than ever.
Can cataracts come back after surgery?
Once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time, patients may complain that their vision has once again become cloudy. This may be due to cloudiness of the back surface of the new lens and can be treated easily with a small, once only, laser procedure. Read more about secondary cataracts.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
As with any operation there is always some risk of complication. Approximately 99% of cataract cases are very successful. There is an overall incidence of complications of about 1% of which only 1 in 500 of these are severe.
Rare complications such as intraocular heamorrhage, acute infection can be severe and even cause loss of vision in extremely rare cases. Other complications can include glaucoma, corneal clouding and retinal detachment; but these are extremely uncommon. Complications can occur during surgery with the dislocation of the cataract, or part of it, into the posterior segment of the eye.
These risks will all be explained to your during your initial consultation with the eye surgeon.
Is cataract surgery covered by Medicare?
Cataract surgery is generally considered a medically necessary surgical procedure and usually is covered, at least in part, by Medicare.
Your eye surgeon, in your first appointment, will help determine if your vision is impacted to the level that is considered medically necessary by Medicare. Based on the recommended treatment, some aspects such as premium lenses and laser-assisted cataract surgery may have out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare will not cover. This will all be explained so you can make an informed decision. Read more about navigating your cataract surgery options.
Types of cataract surgery
The most common technique for cataract surgery is phacoemulsification. The surgeon makes a very small incision (about 3mm) near the border of the cornea and sclera or in the cornea.
The natural lens is then suctioned away with a tiny probe. The artificial lens, known as the Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) is then inserted into the eye. The incision is so small that it often requires no stitches.
The operation takes only 30-45 minutes. It is a day procedure and is associated with only minimal discomfort. Local anaesthetic and sedation are given to reduce anxiety.
After surgery the eye is covered with a shield for protection. Patients return the following morning for the surgeon to review the results and to go through post-surgery instructions.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery
At Envision Eye Centre we offer the newest surgical technique in cataract surgery, laser-assisted cataract removal. This is when the incision and the breaking up of the lens are done with the assistance of a laser, known as a femtosecond laser. The advantages of laser assisted cataract surgery include:
Laser cataract surgery is a new bladeless surgery technique, first used in 2011 in Australia. The new technology uses a computer guided Femtosecond laser to perform the early stages of the cataract operation, cutting the tissue with a degree of precision that manual techniques struggle to match.
Femtosecond laser technology has already been well proven in Laser vision correction surgery such as LASIK for more than ten years with well over 10 million procedures performed to date.
Refractive Lens Exchange
This operation closely resembles cataract surgery. It may be suitable for some patients even though they have only a minor or no cataract. The objective is to relieve these patients of the dependence on glasses and contact lenses when other treatments, such as laser vision correction, are not possible..
Preparing for Surgery
What to expect for your cataract surgery
Prior to surgery
During the procedure
Post-operative recovery instructions
You should NOT:
You should AVOID:
You should DO the following:
You should be AWARE of:
Expected recovery time from cataract surgery
While cataract surgery is the most performed and successful surgery worldwide, it is still surgery and you will need some time to recover. Recovery will vary from person to person.
Stable vision is not usually achieved for approximately three weeks after surgery. Until this time people may not be able to read with the operated eye, despite having good distance vision. However, attempting to read will do no harm.
Clear vision depends on both the eye and the brain working together, the best thing you can do to ensure a speedy recovery is to resume your normal activities as soon as your doctor recommends that you do so. Do the things you do everyday – read, watch television, work on crafts, use a computer, drive and engage in gentle physical activities. Perform a range of activities that require a full range of vision. And lastly, be patient. Your new lens is a tool that your body has to learn how to use.
Once the vision is sufficiently stable you will be able to order any necessary spectacles.