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Cataract Care

Home Page About Mr Heaven Understanding the Eye What is a Cataract? When is Surgery Needed? The Operation The Lens Implant The Pre-Op assessment Consent The Operation Day After the Operation Cost of Surgery Risks FAQs Contact Details Links Directions





The Pre-Op Assessment


Once a cataract has been diagnosed but before the operation to remove it can go ahead a pre-operative assessment is required. The purpose of the assessment is to prepare the patient for the operation both medically and personally. This assessment includes:


  • Further measurements of the eye, called Biometry.
  • Health checks.
  • Counselling and advice.



Once a cataract has been removed an artificial plastic lens is placed into the eye. This is called "the intra ocular lens implant". Before the operation the eye needs to be measured in order to calculate the optical power of the intra ocular lens implant that is needed to focus the eye. Taking these measurements is called "biometry". The measurements are simple, quick and painless.


Health Checks

At the pre-operative assessment it is important to check that the patient is fit for surgery. This is especially so as many of the patients are elderly and may have other health problems. Common conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes need to be adequately controlled before the cataract operation can safely proceed.


For a local anaesthetic the patient will need to lie reasonable flat and still without undue distress for about 15-20 minutes. The ability to do so should be checked at the pre-operative assessment.


If a general anaesthetic is planned some additional investigations may be needed, e.g. an ECG (electrocardiogram) and simple blood tests, and these can be organised at the pre-operative assessment.


Counselling and Advice

The pre-operative assessment also provides the opportunity to explain to and discussion with the patient the necessary arrangements for the day of surgery. The staff can determine any particular needs the patient may have, e.g. whether an escort will be needed on the day of surgery, and whether they will need help with eye drops at home afterwards. The patient can also raise any questions or uncertainties they have. The better informed the patient is the more able he or she will be at taking the operation in their stride.



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