‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 29 August 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
"Dear Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, I have been told by my GP that I will need cataract removal; however on the NHS there is a long waiting list. Please could I have more information about how cataract is treated? What are the risks of cataract surgery? When will my vision be normal again? Will I have stitches?" Susan, Crowborough
Mr Raman Malhotra, consultant ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeon has broken down the question, with his responses below...
How is a cataract treated?
"Simply put, a cataract is a cloudy lens, and this is surgically removed by micro incision under local anaesthetic drops and/or injections around the eye and a replacement lens put into its place, with a gap normally of around two weeks between each eye procedure."
What are the risks?
"With modern techniques, cataract surgery is extremely safe but as with all surgery it carries risks, albeit rare. These may also vary according to your health, existing eye condition and should be explained in detail at the time of consultation in order to help you make an informed decision."
When will vision be normal again?
"Some patients report excellent vision in the operated eye the day following surgery, but this can be variable as the eye settles."
Will I have stitches?
"No stitches are required in routine modern cataract surgery. I hope this helps Susan, if you would like to book an appointment then please call Spire Gatwick Park Hospital."