See the world clearly with Vision Scotland

Cataracts

Don’t let cataracts get in the way of living your life to the full. Our experienced Vision Scotland cataract surgeons perform over 2,000 operations each year. They can give you clearer vision and restore the confidence you’ve been missing.

Mr Ross discusses cataract surgery

What are cataracts?

Just behind the coloured iris in your eye, sits your lens. This is usually transparent, but with age, injury or various medical conditions, this can become cloudy. Cataracts are very common and are easily treated with a simple surgery from one of the Vision Scotland surgeons.

What happens during cataract surgery?

During the quick, simple cataract procedure, your Vision Scotland surgeon uses ultrasound to dissolve your cloudy lens and replace it with a new, artificial lens. The whole thing usually takes less than 20 minutes and is painless – you’ll see the results in just a couple of days, with full recovery in a week or so.

Mr Jonathan Ross looking down a microscope
Mr Sanjay Mantry talking to a patient about RLE surgery

Your Vision Scotland consultation

Everything starts with a consultation with our friendly Vision Scotland team. Our experts will check all aspects of your vision, before recommending the best cataract treatment for you. During your consultation we’ll explain the whole procedure, answer your questions and put your mind at rest.

Pricing Examples

At Vision Scotland we do our best to make our cataract pricing clear and transparent. There are different options. We encourage you to speak to the Vision Scotland patient care team if you would like to talk through your options.

Monofocal Lens

£ 2796 Total
  • Consultation £296
  • Surgery £2500
  • Aftercare £0
Stirling

Monofocal Lens & Toric

£ 3590 Total
  • Consultation £395
  • Surgery £3195
  • Aftercare £0
Glasgow

Trifocal Lens

£ 3820 Total
  • Consultation £190
  • Surgery £3630
  • Aftercare £0
Edinburgh

Vision Scotland : Eye care specialists

Cataract surgery - Lens options

Monofocal

In the NHS you are offered a mono-focal (remember ‘one’ ‘focal point’) lens – this means you will be given a lens which will allow you unaided vision in one distance. Most commonly patients opt to see well in the distance but will require glasses for close up activities such as reading. These lenses tend to be very reliable and are perfectly acceptable if you enjoy wearing glasses.
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Trifocal lenses

Tri-focal lenses (remember ‘three’ ‘focal points’) will give you good vision in all three distances – this means you will be able to see clearly in the near, intermediate and far distances. In fact, over 80% of people who select tri-focal lenses are completely glasses free after surgery, even if they previously wore glasses their whole life.
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Toric lenses

Toric lenses are for those who suffer from astigmatism (when the eye is slightly rugby ball shaped). Toric lenses will correct astigmatism and can be combined with either monofocal or trifocal lenses.
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Vision Scotland : Eye care specialists

Experience how different lens options affect your vision

FAQs

This is a very common procedure for the consultants at Vision Scotland so there is  nothing to worry about. We’ll numb the eye before making a small incision in the surface of the eye. It’s not as bad as it sounds – we promise. Then we use ultrasound to dissolve the natural, cloudy lens. Once that’s done we’ll replace it with an artificial lens and that’s it. The eye will heal itself in just a couple of days.

All surgery has risks but cataract surgery is one of the safest. Every year in the UK around 400,000 are carried out – and the success rate is above 98%. With Vision Scotland, it’s actually above 99.5%.

The sooner the better really – it increases the chance of success and you can enjoy better vision sooner.

You’ll be surprised how quick it’s all over. You shouldn’t be in theatre for more than 20 minutes – but you should expect to be at one of Vision Scotland’s private hospitals for 3-4 hours.

You’ll leave theatre wearing clear shields (to protect your eyes while they heal) and rest for a couple of hours in our recovery suite. Before being discharged our ophthalmologist will come and make sure everything is okay and talk you through your Vision Scotland tailor-made aftercare plan. Once home, make sure you rest and use your antibiotic eye drops as directed. You’ll find your vision is better than before the surgery in just a few days and will continue to improve over the next few weeks.

You can’t – but please don’t try. Your eye is held securely in position during surgery. Just sit back and relax and it’ll all be over before you know it.

Our cataract surgery starts from £2,500 per eye for standard lenses. Trifocal toric lenses are £4,200 per eye. See individual hospitals for pricing.

This is called secondary cataract – or officially ‘posterior capsular opacification’. This condition, which affects around 1 in 8 people, is when the membrane also becomes cloudy. In standard cataract surgery, this is intentionally left untouched but can be corrected with further surgery.

No, as long as it’s carried out by an experienced consultant ophthalmologist you should have an exceptionally low risk. However, left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. Vision Scotland would recommend treating it as soon as you can.

Thankfully glare issues are now pretty uncommon with monofocal lenses. It is more likely after trifocal surgery but usually settles down after a few months.

Vision Scotland’s success rates are great across all types of lenses. However, with trifocals you could also define failure as needing glasses after surgery. So, the success criteria following trifocal surgery is much more stringent.

All going well you should be able start using eye make up in two or three weeks – but you should try to be as gentle as you can.
Your vision will be very blurry during surgery and you might only be able to see vague lights and colours.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you can see again. Most people can see again within a few hours. You should be healed within a couple of days and fully recovered in a week or so.
Your vision could be blurry for a couple of days but often much less.

Vision Scotland don’t usually use any stitches but in the rare occasions we do, they are removed after 4 to 6 weeks.

Cataracts never heals itself – it only gets worse. Your vision will gradually deteriorate as colours and brightness become increasingly dull – eventually leading to blindness.
It’s rare, but when swelling does occur it usually goes down within a couple of weeks. Contact your ophthalmologist if you’re concerned.

Follow the advice of your Vision Scotland surgeon but they’re usually worn for 24 hours following surgery and overnight for the first week post surgery.

Try using a visor or sunglasses to reduce any glare but this usually improves naturally within a few days.

Yes. Vision Scotland replace your natural lens with an artificial one, which can never develop cataract.

In Vision Scotland’s experience, insurers will cover treatment for both eyes. If you have cataracts on both sides, they will only get worse. It is important that you have surgery on both eyes as close together as possible so you do not feel unbalanced for a long period. If you experience resistance from your health insurance company, our Vision Scotland surgeon will write to your insurer directly to advise as such.

It’s unlikely that your vision will be worse, but with surgery there is never a guarantee you won’t need stronger glasses. However, without cataracts, your vision will be significantly improved.
If you choose a trifocal (these have superseded multifocals) then you would automatically get a toric trifocal if you needed it. If you chose a simple monofocal lens then you would still have the visual effect of astigmatism after surgery.
Not really no. If you’re really looking for it, from the right angle you can sometimes see a reflection from the lens for a fraction of a second.
If this happens the surgeon will stop until you’ve calmed down. If you’re really nervous you can choose to have your surgery under general anaesthetic.

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