Dr LaHood is a subspecialty trained cataract surgeon. He offers a personalised service to give you the vision you want rather than a one size fits all approach. He uses the latest equipment and modern lens technology to optimise your outcome. Ben lectures about cataract surgery around the world and is often referred unusual or difficult cases by other ophthalmologists due to his individualised approach and experience. Below you will see some frequently asked questions as well as a summary of the process of surgery. Please contact me to discuss anything and be sure to read more about intraocular lens options also.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cataract Surgery
What is a cataract?
A cataract is when the natural lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. This happens to everyone with age and if we all lived long enough we would all get cataracts. When we are young, most of us have nice clear lenses and as we age, the lens gradually becomes denser and harder to see through. When this occurs, we can operate on the eye to remove the cataract and replace it with a nice clear, personalised lens to restore vision and in most cases improve on the vision prior to cataract formation.
Is my cataract ready for surgery?
As a cataract gradually changes there is no definite point in time when you can say that this lens is now cloudy enough to remove. Like all surgical decisions, it is a balance between risk and benefit of performing an operation. Cataract surgery is extremely safe and with excellent outcomes but you do not want to have an operation if you are happy with your current vision or you are happy with your glasses or contact lenses. When you feel that either your vision is not as good as you would like, or you would like to stop wearing glasses or you are tired of putting reading glasses on and off, that is the time to come and have a chat and see whether cataract surgery would be suitable for you.
Do I need to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that it is up to you and this is one of the important things we discuss before your surgery. We now have the ability to give you any type of vision you may want, including multifocal vision so that you can read, use the computer, drive and play sport all without glasses. However, if you quite like your glasses or using reading glasses or your profession requires a certain level of vision then that is also achieveable. There are so many options available and this is a real passion of mine.
Will my cataract come back?
Fortunately for you, no, your cataract can not grow back again. When I remove the cataract, I leave the new lens in a capsule that was holding your lens in place. It is a very thin capsule. Over time, in a proportion of people, this layer can become a little cloudy. It is a very quick and simple laser procedure that can be done in the office to clear this, should it occur. You would know as your vision may feel not quite as crisp as it did after the operation.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
No, the eye itself receives drops to numb any sensation and sometimes further anaesthetic can be applied around the eye if needed. A lot of patients also like to have a little light sedation so that they feel more calm. Most patients actually fall asleep during surgery with this sedation and are surprised how quickly everything is finished.
The Process and What to Expect
Make an appointment and I will meet you in clinic to examine your eyes and discuss whether cataract surgery is a good option for you. We can discuss your options and goals. There is no pressure to go ahead but if you want to we can schedule surgery. This will take about 30 minutes
We will take measurements of the shape of your eyes so that we can order an intraocular lens just for you. These measurements are very important and take around 10 minutes. Nothing touches your eye.
You will lie down and have drops put in your eye. Wear comfy clothes. You will not feel anything and may see colours and blur only. We use sterile covers to keep everything clean. You will need to lie down for about 15 minutes.
You can go home a few minutes after your operation. I like you to wear a shield to stop you rubbing your eye. Drops will start the following morning when you remove your shield and I will see you the next day in clinic. You will be using an eye drop for a month.