Why should I have my cataracts removed privately?
With NHS cataract surgery, you will usually be offered monofocal lenses, which have a single point of focus. This means the lens will be fixed for either near or distance vision, but not both.
At iLase you can have refractive cataract surgery where you choose from a range of lenses that enable the eyes to focus on both near and distant objects.
Why did I develop a cataract?
Usually, a cataract develops naturally with the passage of time. It is possible to develop a cataract earlier or later than average, and they can sometimes be associated with other medical conditions.
Is my cataract ready to be removed?
A cataract does not need to be ‘ripe’ for removal. Cataract surgery can be an appropriate treatment when the symptoms are sufficiently troublesome for you, and when you are willing to consider ways to improve your vision.
Will I have to wear glasses after my cataract is removed?
Not necessarily. This depends on the type of lens implant you choose to receive. With a monofocal lens, you will need glasses for reading.
Multifocal lens implants provide a greater degree of freedom from glasses than monofocal lens implants, including a greater ability to read without glasses.
I’ve always been near-sighted and able to read without glasses. Will this still be the case after my cataract surgery?
Not if you have a monofocal lens implanted to give you distance vision. A monofocal lens cannot focus the vision at different points in front of your eyes so you will need to wear glasses after the surgery.
A multifocal lens, however, can provide distance and near vision without the need for glasses, and so maintains the advantage of near-sight while also providing good distance vision at the same time.
I have astigmatism. Can cataract surgery make this worse?
Yes, that can happen. If your pre-existing astigmatism is not considered in detail before surgery is performed, then it is possible for astigmatism to increase as a result of the operation. This may lead to blurred vision and the need to use glasses all of the time.
However, with a thorough set of pre-operative tests and careful planning, your astigmatism can actually be treated as part of your cataract surgery. This could make a great difference to the result of your surgery and optimise your visual outcome.
Premium lens implants can combine correction of astigmatism with multifocality, providing even greater independence from glasses after surgery.
Is it true that cataract surgery is not worth doing if I have macular degeneration?
No, this is not true. Cataract surgery can allow more light to enter the eye leading to brighter vision and the possibility of improved clarity.
It is not possible to predict how much benefit may be gained after the cataract operation, but the presence of macular degeneration should not prevent you from discussing the possible benefits of cataract surgery with an ophthalmologist.
I’ve had laser vision correction in the past. Does this cause any difficulties when I have my cataract treated, and how can these be addressed?
The surgery is done in the same way as for other patients.
However, the preoperative calculations to select the correct strength of the lens implant are less accurate in eye that have undergone prior vision correction surgery such as LASIK, PRK, SMILE and others.
This means that patients are significantly more likely to have a spectacle prescription after surgery and need to use glasses most or all of the time.
Prof Muhtaseb uses the most up-to-date technology to measure the eyes and gather data preoperatively.
He then utilises the most effective lens calculation methods, based on the latest published evidence, to calculate the strength of lens required for each eye.
Prof Muhtaseb continuously monitors the outcomes of these cases and has presented the results of his surgeries for such patients at international meetings.
If you have previously undergone a vision correction procedure, it is essential that you discuss the method of lens calculation with your surgeon.
I’ve had laser vision correction in the past. Can I still have a multifocal IOL when my cataract is removed?
Yes, it is still possible to use a multifocal IOL if you’ve had prior vision correction surgery. The caveat is that the eye examination must be entirely normal with no abnormal features of the cornea or other parts of the eye.
Prof Muhtaseb will discuss your options in detail with you at the consultation.