Cataract Surgery


Whats the current state of play regarding cataract surgery?

Also, can you choose which hospital (NHS) where you are treated?

Finally, anyone who's had the surgery, feedback and resurrance would be most welcomed.

Thank you in advance 


  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    My dad's had both eyes done. He said it was like going from black and white to colour.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • kirtondmkirtondm Forumite
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    Improving down here. Should be feasible to get it to done within a few months?.  Personally I would go to a local treatment centre where the consultants also work in the NHS. as you will be treated by a consultant and have good back up if thing go wrong.
    Cataract surgery is very safe especially for low risk patients but not without risk. Approx 1/1000 chance of going blind 1/10000 of losing the eye. Most complications minor and easily treatable.
    Higher risk if highly myopic >-6D , diabetic 
    I would not personally hesitate to have cataract surgery if advised.
    I work in a post op cataract clinic and see approx 27 px a week 1 or 2 will normally have an mild issue. In 3 years I have never had anyone go blind or lose an eye.
    Most common problems are 
    1) Noticing that the decor they have decorated their house in is hideous ( not kidding )
    2) Accusing us of giving them wrinkes ( They couldn't see them before )
    3) Being annoyed at not being able to read without specs ( previous myopes )
    3) Dry eyes / Blepharitis
    4) Needing a bit of Laser a couple of years down the line as the implant mists up
    I see these problems every week but others more rare
  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    Cataract surgery is the classical political football of the NHS. The Tories want you to think the NHS doesn't work and it's better to go private. So they try and increase the waiting times. Labour pay to bring the waiting times down. When waiting times are short no-one goes private.
  • Mickey666Mickey666 Forumite
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    I’ve had one eye ‘done’.
    I’ve worn glasses for about 40 years (short-sight) and everyone who does will know that the prescription changes slightly over the years, though it’s no big deal.  
    About 5 years ago I noticed that although I could see perfectly well with both eyes open, if I closed my left eye the vision through my right eye was quite blurry.  It’s amazing how the brain compensates, but when only looking through the right eye it had clearly changed.  No problem, I thought, just need a new prescription.  So I went to my optician and he found a 2 diopter change (ie large!), which I’d never had before, and diagnosed a cataract.  I was surprised because I’d always though a cataract meant obscured vision rather than just blurry, but he explained that the cataract can affect the shape of the lens before the obscuring effect become a problem.  Anyway, he referred me to the eye clinic in the local hospital where they confirmed the diagnosis and scheduled me for surgery.  The wait was about 3 weeks.
    On the day it took about 2 hours from start to finish though the surgery itself was about 10 minutes.  Completely painless though not exactly pleasant.  A bit like the dentist under anaesthetic - no pain but not ‘nice’.  I kept the dressing on for the rest of the day but the following day all was ok.  I still couldn’t see in completely focus because my glasses didn’t match the new eye prescription and the eye surgeon had advised not to get new glasses for 2 or 3 weeks to let the new eye ‘settle down’.  So I did, had a new eye test, got new glasses and everything was fine.  Anyone who doesn’t wear glasses won’t have to bother with all that and will be seeing properly immediately.
    About a year later I noticed the eye was getting slightly blurry again, which was a worry, but my optician assured me it was perfectly common and caused by cells/membrane growing over the lens implant.  So back to the eye clinic, diagnosis confirmed, and a quick burst of laser treatment to make a ‘hole’ through the membrane.  Again, no pain and much less discomfort this time.  Four years on and no further problems.
    It was quite amazing to see the eye clinic - a whole little world I previously knew nothing about with hundreds of people being treated quickly and efficiently.  The NHS really is amazing and the staff were all superb and reassuring.  It’s truly an example of a ‘trivial’ intervention (‘trivial’ meaning quick and easy for the patient and definitely no denigration of the skill of the surgeons!) that is genuinely life-changing.
  • edited 18 December 2020 at 1:10PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 18 December 2020 at 1:10PM
    Our local hospital is currently only doing two sessions a week. They are still working through the backlog from before the first lockdown so new referrals are on a quite long waiting list. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Forumite
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    My grandad had both eyes done last year. One of his friends just had an operation last Friday. 
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    No needles now, anaesthetic drops. 
    Phew...i am due for both next yeat
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • sassy-onesassy-one Forumite
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    Thank you to all that have replied.

    How high risk are we talking for a -18 prescription?
  • SncjwSncjw Forumite
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    The wait depends on the hospital but it will be longer due to the pandemic. 

    However my local hospital is creating three more theatre suites dedicated to cataract surgery off site from the main hospital within another grounds of tbe trust. 

    If its affecting your life severely you could ask your gp to send in a letter to expidite your appointment for assessment if you haven't had that yet but there's no garuntee it will help. 
  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    McKneff said:
    No needles now, anaesthetic drops. 
    Phew...i am due for both next yeat
    There's more than one way to skin a cat.
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