Cataract Surgery | Independent Health Group

Cataract Surgery

Struggling with blurred vision? Bypass the long NHS waiting lists by booking your cataract surgery with Independent Health Group

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Short waiting time

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Recommended by 99% of our patients

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Friendly & professional staff

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a common eye condition characterised by cloudy areas forming in one or both of your eyes. 

While the condition mainly develops with age, cataracts can also be caused as a result of injury, genetic factors, UV exposure, lifestyle factors or certain diseases, such as diabetes. 

Caused by a build-up of protein in the eye’s lens, cataracts prevent light from passing through to the retina as normal. This then leads to a variety of sight-related issues such as blurry vision, glare sensitivity and colours appearing faded. 

Do you need cataract surgery? 

Cataracts can only be treated through surgery, removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial alternative. 

However, the urgency of when you need cataract surgery will vary depending on how your cataracts impact your vision and daily life. 

Since the process of your eye’s natural lens clouding is very gradual, symptoms like blurred vision and difficulties seeing in low light will often worsen over time, eventually hindering your ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. 

If your cataracts are already impacting your ability to perform activities like reading, driving or recognising faces, cataract surgery may be recommended to restore your vision. 

As with any type of surgery, consulting a healthcare professional is your best port of call. They will be best placed to answer any questions you may have, assess the extent of your condition and work out the more appropriate treatment plan. 

Why book your cataract surgery with Independent Health Group?

Here at Independent Health Group, we have facilities throughout England, offering patients easy access to high-quality NHS cataract surgery treatments wherever they are based.

Thanks to our unique community-centred structure, we help patients bypass the long waiting lists and receive cataract surgery on the NHS much more quickly. 

Each of our UK-based facilities is small, modern and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that our team of experienced surgeons have been specially trained to use. 

We always aim to put patients first and are proud to hear that more than 99% of our patients would recommend our services to their friends and family. 

What our patients say

  • IHG are wonderful. A great service + wonderful staff. I felt that I was in expert hands

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jun-23
  • It's a lovely place, everyone has been brilliant 5*

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jun 23
  • Easy to get to, helpful team - kind

    White Horse Medical Centre - May 23
  • So lovely to return- Thankyou improved my life to be independent

    White Horse Medical Centre - May 23
  • Great experience - Staff very helpful, great practice, great teamwork - Thank you - Credit to NHS

    White Horse Medical Centre - Apr-23
  • Fantastic - Great to see the same staff

    White Horse Medical Centre - Apr-23
  • Great experience - Staff very helpful, great practice, great teamwork - Thank you - Credit to NHS

    White Horse Medical Centre - Apr 23
  • Fantastic - Great to see the same staff

    White Horse Medical Centre - Apr 23
  • Extremely caring, thoughtful people - excellent care throughout

    White Horse Medical Centre - Mar 23
  • Friendly, made to feel at ease, informative before and after

    White Horse Medical Centre - Feb 23
  • Friendly, good at giving information, making me feel relaxed, so convenient, lovely building

    White Horse Medical Centre - Feb 23
  • So Friendly, clearly explained, nice rooms, reassuring

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jan 23
  • Fantastic! From start to finish. I couldn't of hoped for a better. Kind, helpful staff

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jan 22
  • Friendliness, thoroughness - lots of information, pain free, all explanations gave reassurance of procedure. Felt at ease. Very happy to recommend IHG

    White Horse Medical Centre - Dec 22
  • Very efficient, explained entire process. Referral team helpful, thank you for booking me in with ease

    White Horse Medical Centre - Dec 22
  • Close to home, Relaxed environment, I've spoken to friends who are not aware fantastic service is available

    White Horse Medical Centre - Nov 22
  • I was made to feel at ease - if I had a 3rd eye I’d be back !!

    White Horse Medical Centre - Nov 22
  • Excellent Service, well looked after

    White Horse Medical Centre - oct 22
  • location, location, location - local and free parking, very good service

    White Horse Medical Centre - Sep 22
  • Appreciated explanations as surgery going on

    White Horse Medical Centre - Sep 22
  • Friendly approach, Explicit instructions for looking after myself

    Salisbury (Millstream House) - Sep 22
  • All staff friendly, fantastic to see the same nurse admitting me again.

    Salisbury (Millstream House) - Sep 22
  • Fantastic Care

    The County Practice, Syston - Sep 22
  • Very caring, patient and supportive staff. They went out of their way to look after my very disabled husband prepare for and in surgery for cataracts

    White Horse Medical Centre - Aug 22
  • So friendly and convenient location

    White Horse Medical Centre - Aug 22
  • Local and convenient. So kind.

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jul 22
  • Very easy to get to, Parking great, Kind, Friendly and helpful

    White Horse Medical Centre - Jul 22

Available at the following clinics:

The following staff perform Cataract Surgery:

  • Mr Matthew Wakefield
  • Mr Ian Rodrigues

Get in touch

    How long does cataract surgery take?

    Cataract surgery is a relatively quick procedure typically performed on an outpatient basis. Depending on how many cataracts you have, the procedure usually lasts about 15 to 30 minutes per eye and most patients will be able to return home on the same day as their surgery.

    Are there different types of cataract surgery?

    The most common method of cataract surgery is known as phacoemulsification and involves using ultrasound to break the cloudy lens into smaller fragments before removing it. 

    However, other types of cataract surgery, such as laser surgery and extracapsular surgery, can also be used in certain cases. 

    How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

    Following your procedure, you may notice that your vision is temporarily blurry or hazy. This is perfectly normal and, within a few days, it should start to improve. Then, over the next couple of weeks, it will start to stabilise and gradually restore your vision. 

    What causes a cataract?

    Cataracts can be caused by a number of things, but by far the most common reason is growing older. Most people over the age of 65 have some changes in their lens and most of us will develop a cataract in time. Apart from getting older, the other common causes of cataract include:

    • diabetes
    • trauma
    • medications, such as steroids
    • eye surgery for other eye conditions
    • other eye conditions

    What are the symptoms?

    Cataracts usually develop slowly and although symptoms vary there are some symptoms that most people experience. Most people will eventually develop a cataract in both eyes, though one eye may be affected before the other. When your cataract starts to develop, you may feel your sight isn’t quite right. Gradually, you may find your sight becomes cloudier and more washed out.

    Another common symptom of a cataract is bright lights affecting your vision. You may also notice a slight change in your colour vision – things may appear more yellow than before. This often happens if one eye develops a cataract first and colours look different when you compare one eye with the other.

    If a cataract isn’t removed, your sight will become increasingly cloudy. Eventually, it will be like trying to see through a frosted window or a heavy net curtain or fog. Even if your cataract gets to this stage, it can still be removed and your sight may be the same or almost the same as it was before the cataract developed.

    What are the treatment options?

    The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens
    implant. This is done by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). Lasers aren’t used to remove cataracts and there is no evidence to suggest that changing your diet, taking vitamins or using eye drops can cure cataracts.

    What does the operation involve?

    Anaesthetic: The eye is numbed with either an injection around the eye or using simple eye drops.
    Corneal Incision: Two cuts are made through the clear cornea to allow insertion of instruments into the eye.
    Capsulorhexis: A needle or small pair of forceps is used to create a circular hole in the capsule in which the lens sits.
    Phacoemulsification: A handheld probe is used to break up and emulsify the lens into liquid using the energy of ultrasound waves. The resulting ‘emulsion’ is sucked away.
    Irrigation and Aspiration: The cortex, which is the soft outer layer of the cataract, is aspirated or sucked away. Fluid removed is continually replaced with a salt solution.
    Lens Insertion: A plastic, foldable lens is inserted into the capsular bag that formerly contained the natural lens. Some surgeons also inject an antibiotic into the eye to reduce the risk of infection. The final step is to inject salt water into the corneal wounds to cause the area to swell and seal the incision, but sometimes a stitch may be used.

    What to expect after surgery?

    You will be able to go home about an hour after your operation. You should of course go straight home and please remember that you have had surgery on your eye and rest as much as possible that day. Put your feet up! You will be given eye drops to reduce the inflammation and prevent infection. Staff will explain how and when to use them. Your eye will be covered with a clear plastic shield when you go home.

    Your eye may begin to feel sore once the local anaesthetic starts to wear off. Usually the pain is not too bad and you can take a painkiller tablet, such as paracetamol, to help.

    The dressing, which is put on in the clinic, usually needs to stay on your eye overnight, but you should be able to take it off the following morning. Your eye may look red and you might develop some bruises but these will improve over the next few days.
    The vast majority of patients have improved eyesight within days after cataract surgery. Sometimes the vision may vary in quality for four to six weeks; after which your optician can prescribe your new glasses, if needed.

    What are the possible complications?

    No human activity is risk-free. It is possible to be injured crossing a road or possible to choke on a fish bone whilst eating fish. Surgery is no exception. However, serious problems with cataract surgery are relatively uncommon and results very good. The chances of a technically successful operation are well above 98% and the chances of losing eyesight completely because of the surgery is much less than 0.1%, i.e. one in a thousand.

    However, it is important to follow post-operative instructions carefully to avoid infection and you will be made aware of what to look out for. The most important thing to do is to hygienically apply eye-drops which will be given to you after the surgery.

    As with any surgery, there are some risks to cataract surgery and potential for complications to arise. These are all rare but will be discussed with you at your initial appointment.