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Cataract surgery questions

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Nick Maycock - Cataract questions

What is a cataract and why does one need cataract surgery?

A cataract is the natural clouding of the human lens with age / time. It usually starts in the sixth-to-seventh decade but may occur earlier with certain medical conditions, medications or following trauma. There is a compaction, stiffening and discolouration of the lens proteins leading to a yellow / brown discolouration of the lens. Less light is transmitted into the eye and it may be scattered by the altered and discoloured lens proteins leading to glare and reduced vision.

Cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy human lens and insertion of a man-made lens implant. This not only improves the vision but it is also a chance to eliminate any prescription / astigmatism and reduce your dependence on glasses.

Is cataract surgery painful?

No. Cataract surgery is carried out under local or general anaesthetic and will be painless. In some instances, it is normal to feel some discomfort, grittiness or watering in the first few days following surgery, but this will settle with the prescribed postoperative drops.

Is cataract surgery safe?

Yes. It is the most commonly performed medical procedure in the UK with extremely low complication rates. Mr Maycock has completed over 6000 vision correction procedures with outcomes exceeding Royal College of Ophthalmologists and other Refractive Surgery Associations Guidelines. His complication rate is exceptionally low (PCR or posterior capsule rupture: National average 1 in 100 vs. Mr Maycock 1 in 773).

Can cataracts come back / do you need to have surgery again?

No. Once the cataract has been removed it cannot grow back. Sometimes the human lens capsule (that is left in-situ once the cataract is removed and holds the lens implant in place) can opacify causing your vision to go cloudy. This can occur in around 30% of patients postoperatively and is due to the capsule and any residual microscopic lens cells. It does not signify anything has gone wrong and can be treated easily and painlessly in clinic with a YAG laser capsulotomy.

Can cataract surgery correct astigmatism?

Yes. Toric intraocular lens implants are available that can correct astigmatism. Please ask the team for more information.

Can cataract surgery cause macular degeneration?

Cataract surgery does not cause macular degeneration. If there is a history of previous wet macular degeneration there is a small chance it might reactivate or exacerbate the condition. A careful and thorough investigation and discussion will take prior to surgery to assess and discuss the risks. There is no additional risk with dry macular degeneration.

If you have any further questions regarding cataracts or any other eye problems, please get in touch.

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