Our COVID-19 measures remain in place. Feel safe at Sussex Premier Health hospitals. Read our Covid-19 Policy here

Cataract removal surgery

Improve blurred vision caused by cloudy areas on the lens of the eye.

Sussex Premier Health use trusted and clinically proven techniques to remove cataracts and improve your eyesight, so you can get back to everyday activities.

Sometimes also called

  • Phacoemulsification

Why us

  • Fast access to treatment when you need it
  • Internationally and nationally renowned consultants
  • Clear, inclusive pricing with no hidden costs
Typical Hospital Stay

A few hours

Type of anaesthetic


Procedure duration

1 hour

Covered by health insurance?


Available to self-pay?


What is cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery involves replacing a cloudy lens in your eye with a clear artificial lens to improve vision. Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy causing blurred vision which can impact your everyday activities such as:

  • Working
  • Driving
  • Reading

Cataract surgery is most often carried out on people over 65, although some medical conditions can cause cataracts earlier. It’s a very successful treatment to help improve your vision. Some people still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery.

It’s a very successful treatment to help improve your vision. The benefits of cataract surgery include:

  • Seeing things in focus
  • Reduced glare from bright lights
  • Distinguishing between colours easier

Cataract removal surgery can also benefit you by allowing you to resume your everyday activities and improve your quality of life. Most people still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery to carry out some tasks at least.

Find a consultant at Sussex Premier Health

Mr Julian Hickman-Casey

Consultant Ophthalmology

Mr Kashif Qureshi

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Manuel Saldana

Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon

Mr Michael Wearne

Consultant Ophthalmology

Mr Pieter Gouws

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Saruban Pasu

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Shahram Kashani

Consultant Eye Surgeon

Your initial consultation

You’ll meet your consultant in one of our private consultation rooms, they’ll ask about any previous eye surgery and your general health will also be assessed at this appointment.

Your consultant will examine your eye and they may carry out tests such as:

  • Biometry – to take measurements that will help your ophthalmologist decide what type of IOL you’ll need
  • Sight tests
  • Optical coherence tomography – used to create an image of your retina

Any diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests may incur an additional cost.

Most cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, which means you can eat or drink as normal before and after the operation. If you’re having general anaesthetic, you’ll be asked not to eat or drink anything for around two hours before the operation.

Your consultant will explain how cataract surgery works and the options available to you, what you can expect afterwards, any risks and whether you should stop taking or adjust any medications you’re taking. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions.

Your procedure

On the day of your procedure, our ward staff will show you to your own private room. You’ll only be with us for a couple of hours so you won’t need to bring much. However, you may need:

  • Sunglasses or a hat to wear when leaving hospital as things may look bright afterwards
  • Hearing aids if you wear them
  • A change of shirt or top as a rinsing fluid is used during the procedure

Here’s what will happen after you arrive for your cataract surgery:

  • You’ll meet your consultant and surgery team and will be given eye drops to dilate your pupil and make it easier for your surgeon to see your lens
  • You may be given a sedative to help you feel relaxed
  • You’ll also be given a local anaesthetic, usually in the form of eye drops, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure
  • Your surgeon will make a small incision in the front of your eye (cornea) and remove your clouded lens, using a process called phacoemulsification, which breaks the lens up into small fragments
  • They’ll then insert your new intraocular lens

After your cataract surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery room to relax until your surgeon says you’re ready to go home. This is usually a few hours after cataract surgery.

After you’ve recovered from surgery, you won’t be able to feel the new IOL as it becomes a permanent part of your eye, requiring no additional care. A range of IOLs are available to suit different lifestyle and vision needs.


You may notice the difference in your eyesight almost immediately – for instance, colours might appear brighter.

However, for many people, vision is blurry for 10 to 14 days after cataract surgery as your eye recovers and adjusts to the new lens. You should be able to stop wearing your eye patch or shield at night a week or two after the operation. In four to six weeks, you should be fully back to normal.

If you have an existing eye condition, side effects may be more likely.

Short-term side effects

After cataract surgery, it’s normal to experience blurred or double vision, grittiness, redness or watering. This should all settle after a few days.

Using glasses

You may still need glasses after cataract surgery, particularly if you needed them before. Your consultant will tell you when you can have your eyes tested – usually after about 6 to 12 weeks.

What you should/shouldn’t do after cataract surgery

You can perform most daily tasks, such as bathing, showering, reading, watching TV or using a computer. However, avoid swimming, strenuous exercise or housework and don’t drive until your ophthalmologist says so.

Ensure that you use your eye drops as instructed and wear your eye patch at night and while washing your hair for at least a week. Don’t allow soap or shampoo into your eye and you should also avoid eye make-up for at least four weeks.

Treatment and recovery timeline

1 week

Any eye pain, redness or itching should go

7-14 days

Stop wearing eye shield at night

10-14 days

Clear eyesight restored

4-6 weeks

Fully back to normal

Your surgery will be performed by your consultant surgeon.

Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are designed to last for many years so you shouldn’t need to replace them. A cataract operation should only need to be done once in each eye.

Your ophthalmologist will advise you when you can drive again, so always check with them first. You’re fit to drive when your vision meets DVLA standards, which may mean waiting for new glasses. You can get your eyes tested at six to 12 weeks after your operation. You’ll also need to wait until you’ve fully recovered from the anaesthetic and ensure you’re not taking any pain medication that could make it unsafe for you to drive.

In four to six weeks, you should be fully back to normal with no side effects.

Your vision may be blurry for seven to 10 days after surgery.

Generally, your vision shouldn’t deteriorate after cataract surgery (unless you develop another condition, such as glaucoma). Your close vision will continue to decline naturally  with age. However, some people experience posterior capsule opacification (PCO) which causes cloudiness or blurred vision. This can be treated with laser surgery to make your vision clear again and doesn’t usually cause long-term problems.

You should avoid swimming, strenuous exercise or housework and don’t drive until your ophthalmologist says so. Don’t allow soap or shampoo to into your eye and you should also avoid eye make-up for at least four weeks.

Interested in finding out more?

Speak to a member of our team

Phone01424 757400

Enquiry form

DD slash MM slash YYYY

Marketing Information
Sussex Premier Health would like to provide you with marketing information about products and services offered by Sussex Premier Health and by selected third-party partners. If you do not consent for us to process your personal data for marketing activities, we will still be able to contact you about your enquiry.
Please tick the box(es) to confirm your consent to receive marketing information from Sussex Premier Health:

Section Break


We may contact you by email, SMS or phone about your enquiry. If we try to contact you by phone (mobile and/or landline) and you are not available, we may leave you a voicemail message. We may also use your details to contact you about patient surveys we use for improving our service or monitoring outcomes, which are not a form of marketing.

Section Break