A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world – Professor David Gartry has performed over 15,000 cataract operations and is also at the forefront of the femto laser-assisted cataract surgery procedure.
Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. The artificial lens is known as an ‘IOL’ (Intraocular Lens) – there are several different types of IOLs that suit various purposes and they are tailored specifically to the individual patient. The removal of the cloudy lens is a two-part process – firstly a small incision is made. If you are having femto laser-assisted cataract surgery, this is carried out in the theatre housing our femtosecond laser. If not, the incision will be made manually, by the surgeon, in the main operating theatre. Once the incisions have been made, ultrasound energy is applied at high frequency with an electronic probe that is inserted through the narrow incision. The probe first liquefies, and then washes out, the natural lens. This process is known as phakoemulsification (or phako for short).
After this, the artificial lens is inserted through the same incision and unfolded within the lens capsule. The surgeon positions the lens to focus light clearly on to the retina. No stitches are required afterward as the incision is self-healing. The procedure is comfortable for patients as very little is felt during surgery. David Gartry will explain what is happening as he performs the cataract surgery and the nursing staff will be there at all times to reassure you throughout. After the artificial lens is inserted the procedure is complete.
Your consultation for cataract surgery involves a thorough eye examination, starting with state-of-the-art diagnostic scanners.Find out more
Cataract surgery and our advanced laser-assisted cataract surgery is quick, painless and produces superb results. Patients describe seeing enhanced colours and clarity.Find out more
Most of the initial healing is done in your sleep throughout the night and waking up the day after surgery can be quite a powerful moment for most patients.Find out more
There are a number of intraocular lenses (IOLs) available that can be tailored to suit a range of visual requirements.
The most frequently implanted lens is a monofocal IOL (standard IOL). This lens offers excellent image quality (especially in aspheric form) and is primarily used to achieve good distance vision. Monofocal lenses of different powers can be implanted so that one eye is corrected for distance and the other for close vision, helping the patient to minimise reliance on spectacles for reading and other close work. This is known as monovision. Some patients acclimatise to monovision more easily than others; in some cases reading glasses may still be preferred for fine print, and a distance prescription may help with some activities, particularly in poor light conditions.
Multifocal IOLs have grown in popularity in recent years allowing for an element of close work vision not present with standard monofocal lenses. The more modern designs have now overcome some of the limitations of earlier examples. These lenses can be well tolerated and can give reasonably good distance and close vision, with a greater depth of focus than monofocal IOLs. However, this is sometimes at the expense of image quality, and glare and haloes may be troublesome. We would not recommend multifocal IOLs for those who drive frequently at night, professional drivers for example, or those with very exacting visual requirements. These lenses can also be used in the treatment of presbyopia (the loss of near vision as we move into our mid-40s).
Toric lens implants are for patients with moderate amounts of corneal astigmatism (more than 1 or 1.5 dioptres). Reducing your astigmatism will reduce your dependence upon glasses as compared to a non-toric IOL. A standard IOL can be set to make you either far sighted or near sighted but if you have astigmatism your vision without glasses will still be blurred to some degree because this astigmatism has not been corrected by the standard IOL. You could wear glasses in order to correct the astigmatism or undergo laser eye surgery at a later date (Bioptics). However, if it is desirable for you to have better vision when not wearing your glasses, you may want to consider a toric lens implant.
These lens implants are the same as the above Toric IOLs but have a +1.5 dioptre reading addition built in to aid near vision.
With cataract and refractive lens exchange surgery the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. Some ophthalmic surgeons perform an alternative procedure – phakic implant surgery – where the natural lens remains in place while the phakic IOL is positioned immediately in front of it.
The combined focusing power of the two lenses can be effective at treating severe short and long-sight, and the artificial lens can also reduce or eliminate astigmatism. David Gartry does not perform phakic implant surgery, as it is a relatively new procedure and he is unconvinced as to its long-term effectiveness and safety. These lenses tend to be used more for younger patients who can still accommodate (focus for close work) who are contact lens intolerant and have high prescriptions. Beyond mid-40s a better option is refractive lens exchange using the new femtosecond laser technology. Phakic implants have been known to cause cataract and glaucoma and, since the technique is intraocular (placing a lens inside the eye), rarely serious problems such as infection or retinal detachment can follow. If at all possible David Gartry encourages these younger patients, who are well beyond the normal laser range, to persevere with contact lenses – perhaps seeking the advice of an experienced contact lens specialist.
Around 20% of patients who have cataract surgery will start to experience PCO (Posterior Capsular Opacification), a gradual clouding of their vision that can develop weeks, months or even several years after surgery.
This condition is treated with a procedure known as a YAG laser capsulotomy, where a laser is used to remove the clouded-over part of the lens capsule to allow a pathway for the light rays to focus on the retina, restoring visual clarity.
We have had over 15,000 patients come through our doors and leave with a wonderful life-changing experience. Here are just some of the many stories we have from our thousands of happy patients.
You can read all of our testimonials here – you’ll be able to see the delight in each and every one of their words.
Our cataract surgery prices are simple to understand. These prices include consultations, the surgery and aftercare too (which includes Moorfields Eye Hospital if needed). If you have any questions please do give us a call.
|Self-funding Cataract Procedure (per eye)|
|Initial Consultation Fee*||£275|
|Laser assisted treatment||£4668|
|Premium monofocal lens fee||£150|
|Special order/custom made lens||From £575.00
*Follow-up appointments are not included in the surgery fee and will be charged per visit. There are usually two and the fee is £175.00 per visit.
If you are insured, it is highly likely not all fees will be covered by your insurance company. Most do not pay for any special order lens, nor do they cover the femto laser fee charged by Moorfields which is outside of the C7122 procedure code. Please speak to one of our team who will be able to advise you what your insurance company would usually cover as this varies from insurer to insurer.
For more details please call us today on 020 7490 7222 or use the form to get in touch.