Cataract Treatment & Surgery

cataract surgery

Assessment and day-case surgical treatment of cataract is available privately within the calming, unique and quality clinical environment at The Edinburgh Clinic. 

Situated on Colinton Road, near Edinburgh’s leafy Polwarth, Morningside and Merchiston areas, The Edinburgh Clinic is within easy reach of the City Centre and offers free on-site parking for ease of access and on-street metered parking nearby. Our patient waiting and treatment areas are comfortable and substantial, allowing a friend or family member to accompany you to the clinic and wait while you see your consultant.

What is a cataract?

In a healthy eye the lens is transparent. Cataract is the name given to the clouding of the lens, which reduces or impairs vision. This process is usually gradual but once the lens becomes cloudy it does not become clear again.

What causes a cataract?

The normal ageing process is the commonest cause of cataracts, however, sudden injury, smoking, exposure to UV light, and health problems such as diabetes can also accelerate the clouding process. The age at which cataracts start and the rate at which they develop differs in each person. A cataract is not caused by overuse of the eyes or by bad lighting.

What can be done?

In the early stages of cataract development, glasses or a new prescription may be sufficient to restore vision. Reading may be helped by improved lighting or a magnifying glass and a larger size of print font.

If the lens becomes so cloudy that glasses cannot help vision, surgery is often required. Cataract surgery aims to remove the cloudy cataract lens and replace it with an artificial one called an intraocular implant. Using modern intraocular lens implants there is now a range of options for patients who would like to reduce their dependence on spectacles following cataract surgery. Suitable patients can choose to have a multifocal, monofocal or toric lens implanted. Speak to your optometrist or consultant ophthalmologist about lens exchange surgery. 

What does surgery involve?

During an initial out-patient consultation your consultant ophthalmic surgeon will assess your cataract and explain the steps of the surgery and any risks. The length and curve of your eye will be measured to determine the implants you require.

Once your consultant has performed a complete assessment, an appointment for day-case surgery can be made. Surgery is usually carried out under local anaesthetic but the option of general or sedation is available. During surgery the cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. There may notice an immediate improvement in vision, although it can also take up to 6-8 weeks for the implanted lens to settle and your vision may remain out of focus during this time.

After surgery, you will return for a follow-up appointment with your consultant to check your new lens and have your vision retested.

You can be referred to this service by your GP or optometrist.