Cataract Treatments

 Treatment for a cataract involves removal of the clouded lens and insertion of an artificial lens.
Once this has been done your cataract cannot grow back again.

Cateract treatments Northland Eye Specialists
The procedure is done under local anaesthesia in an operating theatre.
You will not feel any pain during surgery. You will be able to see light, colours and movement, but you will not be able to focus on the instruments or the surgery itself. We will provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions prior to your surgery. We encourge you to bring a family member to your consultation, and to ask any questions you may have prior to the date of your surgery.

Bilateral Cataract Surgery:
If you have cataracts in both eyes, one option is to have cataract extraction and impantation of the intraocular lens on BOTH eyes, one after the other, on the same operating list. After completion of surgery on the first eye the surgeon operates on the second eye using a completly new set of sterile surgical instruments. This is generally referred to as ‘immediately sequential bilateral cataract suregry (ISBCS).
There is a growing trend internationally towards removing cataracts at the same sitting, and this has numerous advantages:

  • Quicker visual rehabilitation, with normal stereopsis and binocular function rapidly regained after surgery
  • Avoidance of possible period of ‘imbalance’ between operations, which can be a problems with higher degrees of refractive error (short – or long-sightedness)
  • Fewer visits to the eye clinic, and half the duration of post-operative drop installation (2 weeks instead of 4), especially beneficial for patients living some distance away and reliant on family or carers fortransport or drop administration

Dr Brian Kent-Smith is a member of the International Society of Bilateral Cataract Surgeons (ISBCS) and follows the society guidelines for performing bilateral cataract surgery to minimize the risk of complications and especially post-operative infection (endophthalmitis). These precautions include:

  • Seperate sets of sterile surgical equipment used for each eye
  • Intra-cameral antibiotic administration (a small amount of antibiotic placed in the front chamber of the eye) at the end of the procedure. This significantly reduces the risk of endophthalmitis

In a recently published research study covering 900,000 bilateral cataract operations worldwide, the risk of a serious infection in one eye was 1 in 150,000, and no cases of postoperative infection in both eyes was found. In fact, no cases of bilateral infection has been reported where the surgeon followed the ISBCS guidelines. The risk of developing an infection on both eyes is in the order of 1 in 100 million.
This risk is identical whether the surgery is performed on the same or on different days, and this figure is considerably less than the calculated risk of death from driving to the extra visits required to perform two seperate cataract surgeries!

Risk of serious infection in one eye:                              
1 in 150,000
Calculated risk of serious infection in both eyes:          
1 in 100 million