Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves the permanent removal of a cataract – the cloudy lens that can cause blurred vision if left untreated. Once removed, it is replaced with an artificial, clear lens that is designed to last for life and will not need further replacement.

For those who wish, Mr Barsam has extensive experience with the full variety of modern intraocular lens options so that patients can become independent of glasses and contact lenses following surgery.

What are cataracts?

Those suffering from cataracts experience a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye.

The condition is very common and often inevitable as you age, with 60% of the population experiencing the visual complication as they reach their 60s.

Symptoms:

  • Blurring/clouding of vision (no matter how near or far away the object is that you are focusing on).
  • Glare/sensitivity in sunny conditions.
  • Colours appear faded.
  • Prescriptions become increasingly more myopic (near-sighted).

Causes:

Clouded vision is caused by changes in the lens (the part of the eye responsible for focusing light).

Other causes aside age include:

  • genetic inheritance
  • diabetes (diabetic cataract)
  • trauma (traumatic cataract)
  • congenital cataract
  • inflammation (uveitis)

More controllable causes include:

  • the use of steroids
  • alcohol consumption
  • smoking
  • exposure to UV rays

Am I a suitable candidate for cataract surgery?

If you suffer from cataracts, you are more than likely suitable for surgery. That being said, you should book an initial consultation with a specialist such as Allon Barsam, where the appropriate treatment can be advised based on an assessment of your health and any other circumstances.

About the procedure

Traditional cataract surgery is performed manually and works by removing the cloudy lens and inserting a transparent, artificial lens to clear up the mistiness and restore sight.

How long does the surgery take?

Cataract surgery is normally carried out as a day-case procedure.

The lens is implanted through a keyhole microscopic suture-less corneal incision and typically takes 10-15 minutes to perform.

Can both eyes be treated on the same day?

Often, both eyes are treated within a single visit (using different equipment).

Does cataract surgery hurt?

Surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic drops and is not painful.

Is cataract surgery safe? Are there any risks involved?

Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to restore vision and serious complications are very rare.

A national statistic shows that 97% of cataract surgery patients enjoy improved vision with no complications.

Results with Allon Barsam

The success rate for cataract surgery is very high.

Results with Allon Barsam are excellent, with:

  • 85% of patients have better than 20/20 vision one month on from the procedure.
  • 100% of patients have better than 20/40 vision (the legal driving standard) one month on from the procedure.

Premium lenses

The type of lens inserted will depend on a number of factors including the patients’ current prescription and personal preferences.

Choose from several premium intraocular lenses, including:

  • Monofocal Lenses – Corrects distance vision (myopia/short-sightedness) only, providing that the patient does not suffer from astigmatism. Glasses may still be required for reading etc.
  • Premium Intraocular Lenses – Can correct astigmatism and/or offer both distance and reading vision (hypermetropia/long-sightedness) simultaneously, allowing patients to be free from wearing glasses entirely.
  • Customised Aspheric IOLs – Lenses can be specially tailored and customised to the individual optical properties of a patient’s eye to provide the optimal quality of vision.
  • Toric IOLs – Correct astigmatism as well as myopia and hypermetropia.
  • Multifocal and Trifocal IOLs – Are divided into multiple zones which are focused for distance, intermediate and near vision, allowing most patients to be free from wearing glasses entirely.
  • Extended Depth of Focus IOLs – Enable patients to have better vision across a broad range of distances.
  • IOL Blended Vision – The dominant eye is corrected for perfect distance vision and the non-dominant eye is corrected for reading/intermediate vision. The result is independence from glasses for all activities except close reading.
  • IC-8 Pinhole IOL – The new lens is inserted into your non-dominant eye and uses a pinhole design that allows only focused light to enter the eye, giving patients greater independence from glasses for far, near and intermediate distances.

Your surgeon will discuss the lens options available to you during an initial consultation.

Traditional cataract surgery or an alternative?

 

Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery

Mr Allon Barsam can carry out the procedure with the use of a bladeless, femtosecond laser (the latest advance in cataract surgery) and was the first British Ophthalmologist in the world to carry out this procedure in April 2011.

The procedure is currently only available in a limited number of UK clinics and offers a new level of precision to traditional cataract surgery.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

This form of Lens Replacement Surgery can treat a number of vision problems, including cataracts.

Also sometimes referred to as clear lens extraction or presbyopic lens exchange, this procedure involves removing the crystalline lens through a small incision.

Lens Implant Surgery

Mr Barsam also performs innovative lens implant surgery for cataract sufferers who are not suitable for standard cataract surgery i.e. patients with irregular-shaped corneas etc.

Your surgeon should discuss the varying surgical options available to you during an initial consultation.

Are there any potential side effects?

 

Will I suffer from blurred vision following cataract surgery?

You may experience blurred vision or see things in soft focus while your eyesight settles – this is completely normal. In most cases, no treatment is required and your vision will return to normal within a day or two.

Some people may take longer to get used to the implanted lens; up to 1-2 weeks is still considered normal.

If blurred vision persists, you may need to wear spectacles to focus your vision until the blurriness subsides.

However, if you begin to experience blurred vision over time following your cataract procedure, your prescription may have changed. If so, it’s easy to treat with a simple surgical procedure known as laser or lens enhancement.

Posterior Capsule Opacification

Following cataract surgery, a minority of individuals do experience the onset of visual problems similar to those caused by cataracts, with symptoms including blurry vision and difficulty with glare from bright lights.

Causes:

This relatively common phenomenon is caused by a condition known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO), varies from patient to patient and can occur at any time from a few months to several years following the cataract surgery.

PCO does not indicate a return of the cataracts. Instead, it is caused by a thickening of the lens capsule that secures the artificial lens in place, which happens due to a growth of cells at the back of the lens capsule.

Treatment:

Treatment is a quick, simple, routine and low-risk procedure called Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy and can be performed as an outpatient procedure (the procedure is not included as part of your cataract surgery fee).

Following the surgery, patients can expect their sight to return to normal within a few days (the same level of sight that was originally restored by the cataract surgery), with the same outlook for the future as patients who do not develop PCO.

What to expect after cataract surgery …

Most people can expect to notice the effects of the new artificial lens within a day, with vision reaching its maximum level of improvement after about a month.

  • Patients will have a follow-up appointment the day after surgery to check that they are recovering well, as well as another aftercare appointment a week later in order to check vision improvements and address any concerns.
  • Around 4-6 weeks following the procedure, patients are required to complete an eye test to determine their new prescription.

Will I still need to wear glasses?

Many patients can completely dispense with glasses for distance vision following the surgery, although almost all will still require reading glasses for close-up work.

For those patients wishing to be 100% glasses free – speak to your surgeon about premium, multifocal intraocular lenses ((inluding trifocal and extended depth of focus lenses) which will correct both your distance and reading vision simultaneously.

How long does cataract surgery last and will I need surgery again?

In most cases, the effects of cataract surgery last a long time, with the majority of patients experiencing long-term improved vision, free of side effects. Following surgery, most patients also avoid the need for additional visual aids for many years.

How long the benefits will last without further visual complications will, of course, depend on the individual and any other visual conditions they have.

Pricing

Anesthetist fees are not included and range between £150 – £300 per eye.

Treatment is usually covered for those with private health insurance.

Initial Consultation:

  • With Allon Barsam – £260
  • Fee will be deducted from the total cost of procedure.
  • If found unsuitable for cataract surgery, this fee will be refunded, minus an admin charge of £25.
Total costs for each eye:

  • With regular lenses – £2900
  • With premium lenses – £3300
  • Femtosecond laser cataract surgery (femto-phako) – £3600
  • Femto-phako with advanced technology premium lens – £4100
YAG Laser Capsulotomy: 

  • For patients seen originally by Allon Barsam – £500 for one eye/£700 for both eyes.
  • For patients originally seen by another surgeon – £900 for one eye/£1400 for both eyes.
Procedure fees include:

  • Initial consultation.
  • Hospital facility.
  • Surgeon’s fee.
  • Pre-operative care.
  • Post-operative care.
  • All consultation up until one year after surgery.

Allon Barsam provides patients with detailed and specific information based on their individual medical history and visual condition.