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Cataract surgery

Cataract treatment and vision correction

Cataract page flower image

Cataract surgery

Cataract treatment and vision correction

Cataract surgery

Jill – “I’m cataract free with colour and clarity back in my life. I wish I’d done it sooner.” Find out more and how Jill became a more colourful connoisseur

Watch Denise talking about her experience of cataract surgery at Moorfields Private.

Page Contents

What is a cataract?

A cataract is clouding or opacity of the lens inside the eye. It causes gradual blurring of vision and often glare. In a normal eye this lens is clear. It helps focus light rays onto the back of the eye (the retina), which sends messages to the brain allowing us to see. When a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy and prevents the light rays from passing onto the retina. The picture the retina receives becomes dull and fuzzy. A cataract usually forms slowly and most people experience a gradual blurring of vision.

Do I need to have a cataract operation?

Unfortunately, the cataract symptoms usually worsen over time and there are no medicines that are able to improve or slow down the effects of cataracts. If your cataract is mild, you can choose to avoid having cataract eye surgery and instead monitor it with regular check—ups. When the cataract progresses to the point that it is interfering with daily activities or lifestyle, even when using up-to-date glasses, then cataract surgery may be the next step. Modern surgery is highly successful for the majority of patients but, as with all surgery, there are cataract surgery risks which your consultant will discuss with you.

Why choose Moorfields Private?

Moorfields Private has a worldwide reputation for providing the highest quality treatment and care for patients seeking private cataract-surgery. All our surgeons hold accredited consultant positions at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, working at the very top of their profession. We pride ourselves on offering a service with complete continuity. At each visit, you will see the consultant surgeon of your choice who will supervise every aspect of our care from start to finish.

Before your cataract treatment

During your initial consultation, you will undergo eye tests and an optometrist will assess your eye prescription. A full medical history will also be taken to ensure you are suitable for treatment. Your consultant will discuss your lens preference with you, as well as informing you of any potential cataract surgery complications and agreeing on a personalised care plan. If you are happy to proceed, an appointment will then be booked for you, following a “cooling off’ period.

During eye cataract surgery

The most common cataracts treatment is a refractive lens exchange operation to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear artificial replacement. This treatment is quick, taking between 30-60 minutes, and can greatly improve vision. Anaesthetising eye drops will be administered to make the procedure as painless as possible.

Patients have the option of a sedation for the procedure. This requires the presence of a dedicated consultant anaesthetist throughout the surgery who administers a sedative medication and stays with the patient for the duration of the procedure to ensure that any problems with general health and wellbeing are recognised and dealt with immediately and appropriately. There is an additional cost for this, and it will be discussed with the patient at the initial consultation.

Laser cataract surgery

If you decide with your consultant surgeon to have laser cataract surgery (also know as femto-phako) your consultant will use femtosecond laser to partially breakdown the cataract. Removal of the cataract then proceeds as for conventional (non-laser) cataract surgery, with a clear artificial lens (intraocular lens implant or IOL), made of a plastic-like material, placed inside the eye. Current available evidence shows that both conventional and laser cataract surgery are as good as each other in terms of vision and safety.

Click here for further information about our laser cataract consultant surgeons

After cataract surgery

You will be given instructions for your cataract surgery aftercare following your operation, including information regarding follow-up appointments. Cataract surgery recovery times are different for every person. Usually, there is a fairly quick recovery time for cataract surgery, approximately 3-4 days. During your cataract surgery recovery, it is normal for your vision to take a few days to improve. Your eyes may additionally be sore, scratchy and light sensitive during this period. You will have both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to help with your cataract operation recovery, typically starting the day after surgery. Cataract surgery is performed on a day-care basis. This means you are admitted to hospital, have your operation and are discharged home all in the same day. Therefore, you should be able to return to work a few days after your operation, depending on your occupation. If you perform a job that is physically demanding, you may require a longer period of recovery. Your consultant will advise you appropriately. When it comes to cataracts and driving, you can drive after your operation once you vision meets the DVLA requirements. This normally takes 3-4 days. The DVLA standard is reading a number plate with both eyes open at 20.5 meters (approximately 25 strides). Your consultant can advise you at your follow-up appointment if your vision meets this standard.

The benefits of cataract surgery

Following surgery, you should be able to: - See things in focus -Look at lights without experiencing glare -Tell the difference between colours more easily If you need glasses after cataract surgery, your consultant will advise you to wait a few weeks after the operation before seeing your local optician to ensure the prescription has stabilized. Temporary off-the-shelf reading glasses generally work very well after cataract surgery.

How much does cataract surgery cost?

Fees for your initial consultation are charged at £225. Call us today and we can arrange an appointment with an appropriate consultant.

Once you have agreed a personalised plan with your consultant, the full costs of onward treatment per eye will be £2,920, which includes a standard lens and one post-operative appointment.

The package price includes anaesthetic eye drops and pain relief administered by the consultant. If medically required or if the patient chooses, an anaesthetist can be present to administer sedation. This incurs an additional cost of £350.

There may be circumstances where additional scans/tests are required that are outside the package price. This is rare and your consultant will discuss this with you if any additional tests are required.

For more information and to see details about our package pricing, please visit our dedicated cataract surgery cost page.

For cataract surgery (unilateral and bilateral), we offer interest free payment plans for over up to ten months, subject to a credit check and terms and conditions. No deposit is required. For more information, please speak to your consultant’s practice manager prior to your consultation.

What causes cataracts?

Most forms of cataract develop in adult life. The normal process of ageing causes the lens to harden and become cloudy. This is called an age-related cataract and it is the most common type. It can occur at any time after the age of 40. Although most cataracts are age-related, there are other types, including congenital (present at birth), drug induced (steroids), and traumatic (injury to the eye). Cataracts are also more common in people who have certain diseases such as diabetes.

Can cataracts come back?

Once the cloudy (cataractous) lens has been removed as part of cataract surgery, it doesn’t come back. However, the thin membrane behind the new lens implant (posterior capsule) may become opaque during the first few months of years after cataract surgery. This creates a filter-effect and can cause your vision to deteriorate. A simple laser treatment (YAG laser capsulotomy) can be performed in the out-patient clinic to clear this membrane and restore clear vision. Approximately 1 in 5 (20%) patients may benefit from YAG laser capsulotomy after cataract surgery. Your consultant will discuss whether this treatment is suitable for you.

More information

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If you would like to know more about our services or book an appointment please call our New Patient Team.

New Patient Team: 0800 328 3421
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Cataract surgery consultants

A picture of Miss Sharmina  Khan

Miss Sharmina Khan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Panagiota Founti

Miss Panagiota Founti


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Andrew Scott  

Mr Andrew Scott  


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Jaheed Khan

Mr Jaheed Khan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Amanjeet Sandhu

Mr Amanjeet Sandhu


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Ananth Viswanathan

Professor Ananth Viswanathan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Nicholas Strouthidis

Professor Nicholas Strouthidis


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Saab Bhermi

Mr Saab Bhermi


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Martin Watson

Mr Martin Watson


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

No image of consultant provided

Mr David Bessant


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Eric Ezra

Mr Eric Ezra


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Ranjan Rajendram

Mr Ranjan Rajendram


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Rajesh Deshmukh

Mr Rajesh Deshmukh


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr George Voyatzis

Mr George Voyatzis


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Winifred Nolan

Miss Winifred Nolan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Sajjad Ahmad

Mr Sajjad Ahmad


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Su-yin Koay

Miss Su-yin Koay


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Ms Sharon Heng

Ms Sharon Heng


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Ian Murdoch MBE

Mr Ian Murdoch MBE


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Gus Gazzard

Professor Gus Gazzard


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor James Bainbridge

Professor James Bainbridge


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Harry Petrushkin

Mr Harry Petrushkin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Adnan Tufail

Professor Adnan Tufail


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Mark Westcott

Mr Mark Westcott


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Alexander Ionides

Mr Alexander Ionides


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Niaz Islam

Mr Niaz Islam


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Paul Foster

Professor Paul Foster


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Romil Patel

Mr Romil Patel


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Avi Gurbaxani

Mr Avi Gurbaxani


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Badrul Hussain

Mr Badrul Hussain


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Ms Alessandra Martins

Ms Alessandra Martins


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Parham Azarbod

Mr Parham Azarbod


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Associate Professor Alex Day

Associate Professor Alex Day


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Patrick Yu Wai Man

Professor Patrick Yu Wai Man


Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Mr Vincenzo Maurino


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Dr Hari Jayaram

Dr Hari Jayaram


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Lyndon Da Cruz

Professor Lyndon Da Cruz


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr George Saleh

Mr George Saleh


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Poornima Rai

Miss Poornima Rai


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Kuang Hu

Mr Kuang Hu


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Kamran Saha

Mr Kamran Saha


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Carlos Pavesio

Professor Carlos Pavesio


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Anthony Khawaja

Professor Anthony Khawaja


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Zubin Saihan

Mr Zubin Saihan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr John Brookes

Mr John Brookes


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor David Gartry

Professor David Gartry


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Alfonso Vasquez-Perez

Mr Alfonso Vasquez-Perez


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Aires Lobo

Mr Aires Lobo


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Josef Huemer

Mr Josef Huemer


Consultant Ophthalmologist Surgeon

A picture of Professor  Frank Larkin

Professor Frank Larkin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Luke Nicholson

Mr Luke Nicholson


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Miriam Minihan

Miss Miriam Minihan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr. James Tee

Mr. James Tee


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Keith Barton

Professor Keith Barton


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Narciss Okhravi

Professor Narciss Okhravi


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Mahi Muqit

Mr Mahi Muqit


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Daniel Gore

Mr Daniel Gore


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Louisa Wickham

Miss Louisa Wickham


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Bruce Allan

Professor Bruce Allan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Robert Henderson

Mr Robert Henderson


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Linda Ficker

Miss Linda Ficker


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Eleni Nikita

Miss Eleni Nikita


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

06.02.2024

Anaesthesia for cataract surgery
Written by Mr Alexander Ionides, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Clinical Lead
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05.01.2024

London Specialist Hospitals partnership brings together world’s finest healthcare professionals
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06.12.2023

Moorfields Private Eye Centre rated as “Good” by the CQC
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Paying for treatment

Private Medical Insurance

If you are covered by private medical insurance, please verify the details with your insurer prior to arrival and if possible, obtain a pre-authorisation number.

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Self pay

You don’t have to be insured to come to Moorfields Private. Many of our patients pay for their own treatment.

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Interest free payment plans

We offer payment plans via a 3rd party provider for the majority of cases within the following procedures:

You are able to apply for interest free payment plans for over up to ten months, subject to a credit check and Terms and Conditions. No deposit is required.

For more information please speak to your consultant’s practice manager prior to your consultation.

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Third party sponsorship

​If a company, employer or other third party agrees to settle your account, they will be required to provide a letter of guarantee along with a deposit.

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