Cataract surgery is one of the oldest surgical procedures recorded. Technological advances have made it one of the safest, most frequently performed procedures worldwide.
Cataract surgery replaces the cloudy natural lens of the eye (the cataract) with an artificial lens, or Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL). The lens implants provide focussing power to suit the individual and reduces reliance on glasses, especially for distance.
Surgery is quick, painless, and performed under local anaesthetic. There is usually a swift recovery of vision. The procedure is very safe but, as with any operation, there are some risks involved (see below).
With over 25 years’ experience, Jonathan Luck has performed thousands of cataract and lens surgeries, building an excellent reputation… he’s often asked by colleagues to carry out surgery on their relatives!
Mr Luck is the Senior Examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), and sits on the committee that writes the final RCOphth examinations. He is a faculty and committee member of the RCOphth microsurgical skills team.
Mr Luck uses only the latest technology and lens implants. Unlike many clinics, Mr Luck will see you personally at the consultation, and supervise every aspect of your care. Living locally means Mr Luck can see you promptly if needed.
The consultation involves discussing present difficulties and any previous eye problems. During a thorough examination, measurements are taken to help select the correct style and power of lens implant.
The procedure is carried out at the Circle Hospital in Bath as a day case. After admission to your own private cubicle, Mr Luck will visit you before surgery.
The procedure takes around 10-15 minutes under local anaesthetic, and you will be in hospital for a few hours. A general anaesthetic can be arranged in rare instances, if preferred.
The cataractous natural lens is removed by a small ultrasonic probe via a tiny incision in the edge of the cornea. The new lens is placed in the remaining clear, natural lens membrane ‘bag.’ The incision is self-sealing, and won’t normally need a stitch.
Recovery from surgery is rapid. Eye drops are required for a few weeks afterwards, and a check-up will be scheduled in the first week or so after surgery.
A lens implant is a precisely manufactured artificial lens, available in a range of styles and strengths. Your consultation with Mr Luck includes deciding which type of lens best suits your requirements.
Lens technology has come a long way since its conception in the late 1950’s. There are now lenses that can correct very high spectacle error, including astigmatism.
The three main types are:
The most commonly implanted lenses. Mr Luck uses Aspheric lenses, designed to give the best quality vision. These suit patients who don’t mind wearing reading glasses, although it’s often possible to offset the focus in one eye to allow ‘blended’ vision (monovision). This works well if already experienced with contact lenses.
Designed to provide multiple focal points for both distance and near vision. Some of the latest lenses also provide intermediate vision. They’re excellent for those motivated to reduce reliance on reading glasses – and are very successful – but have a degree of compromise. Many patients notice some glare and haloes around lights, especially at night. Although generally not too bothersome, a small percentage of patients find it so. These effects often improve with time.
Mr Luck uses two state-of-the-art multifocal lenses; the trifocal Finevision lens manufactured by Physiol, and the ‘Symfony’ extended range of vision lens.
Multifocal lenses are, up to now, bifocal lenses with two main focal points for distance and near. The Finevision lens is trifocal, designed to fill the gap that some bifocal lenses leave – that of intermediate vision (for example, using a computer). The Finevision lens provides three points of focus – Far, Intermediate and Near – hence the name Finevision.
You can read more about the Finevision lens here.
The Symfony lens is designed to reduce troublesome glare and haloes. They’re suitable for those who are more relaxed about needing close up reading glasses, but would like intermediate vision. Mr Luck can advise on the best lens for you.
Both Monofocal and Multifocal Lenses are available in a toric form. Toric lenses are designed to help astigmatism – when the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football. A small degree of astigmatism is extremely common; higher degrees are treatable with toric implants, but there may be a small amount of residual spectacle error that requires correction with glasses.
Up to 50% of patients undergoing lens implant or cataract surgery will experience some clouding of the natural lens membrane supporting the implant. This normally happens many months or years after surgery. If the clouding blurs vision, treatment with the YAG laser may be required. The treatment is a simple outpatient procedure that usually clears the blurring very quickly.
For more information, download our Cataract Surgery booklet here.