How long does cataract surgery take?

The actual procedure in theatre, can last 15-20 minutes in a routine case and expert hands; however, there is a little bit of preparation beforehand. I will see the patient previously, I will re-examine the eye to make sure there are no changes, we will answer any last minute questions, and then we will proceed through to theatre. I will lie the patient down on an operative bed, and we’ll make sure that they’re entirely comfortable for the length of the procedure. We then use a microscope and specialistic microscopic instruments to operate. Tiny microscopic incisions are made between the white of the eye and the bright part of the eye to allow us access to the cataract. The cataract lives behind the coloured part of the eye, and it is in the shape of a Smartie. It’s enveloped in a membrane kind of like a cling film.

How long does cataract surgery take? The actual procedure in theatre generally takes 15 to 20 minutes. However, there is a preoperative assessment in which you are re-examined to ensure that cataract surgery can still take place.

The procedure involves peeling a circle in the front membrane; we can then get at the cataract. We break down the cataract into small pieces using a specialist ultrasound probe, which is the most modern technology, and then the cataract is destroyed through tiny incisions. Finally, there is some soft lens matter left inside the membrane, which would fog up the vision if it was left behind. We then use another instrument to peel that soft lens matter off the layer, and, at the end of the procedure, we are left with just this clean membrane with a small hole at the front. Inside that membrane or bag, as it is sometimes referred to, we place the new artificial lens. This procedure is a very delicate and precise operation—I have done thousands of it—and it has enjoyed an excellent success rate. It’s been proven to improve the quality of vision of patients significantly. As with any procedure, there’s always the possibility of risks and complications. It’s critical for the surgeon to be very comfortable and adept at managing any complexity to make sure that the final result is just as excellent to the patient. Most often, any such complication can be dealt with there and then and sorted out, and the patient goes home the same day. Very rarely, we might have to come back another day to finish the operation to allow the patient to have the promised excellent vision.

By |2017-09-28T12:36:55+00:00November 23rd, 2017|Cataract Surgery, Cataracts|Comments Off on How long does cataract surgery take?

About the Author:

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with over 15 years of experience. I have comprehensive training in the management of various eye diseases. My particular specialist interests include cataract, strabismus and laser eye surgery. My belief is that the patient must be confident in their Eye Doctor and comfortable with the care they are receiving.