Cataract Surgery Brisbane
What is a Cataract ?
A cataract occurs when the eye’s lens, which is normally clear, becomes opaque. This lens is located inside the eye behind the pupil where it sits in the lens bag. Cataract causes blurred vision by blocking light as it travels through the eye. It can also change the focal point of the eye, further blurring the vision.>
How is cataract treated ?
The only proven treatment for cataract is surgery. Through micro incisions, an opening is made in the lens bag. The opaque lens is then broken into small fragments with ultrasound and removed from the eye. Next, a transparent artificial lens (intra-ocular lens: IOL) is inserted into the lens bag. The focusing power of each lens implant is specific to each eye and highly precise measurements are taken of the eye before surgery to determine the exact lens strength for your eye.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE DURING CATARACT SURGERY
Local anaesthetic is applied to the eye prior to the eye surgery so no pain is felt. You will feel movement and sometimes some pressure. You are given medication to relax you (sedation) so you are in a “twilight,” but you will be awake. You will be unable to see any of the operating instruments that are used during the cataract surgery.
Will I need glasses after cataract eye surgery ?
The degree to which glasses will be required after cataract surgery depends on the type of artificial lens implant used.
There are 4 options
Option 1: Monofocal artificial lens implant in both eyes.
The traditional approach has been to insert lens implants which provide excellent distance vision in both eyes. It is a very good option for those who wish to have excellent distance vision without glasses but who are happy to wear glasses for near (eg reading) and intermediate distance (eg using computers, reading the dashboard of a car).
Option 2: Multifocal artificial lens implant in both eyes.
Multifocal intraocular lenses provide excellent vision for objects at all distances. They provide excellent distance vision (driving, watching TV), intermediate vision (eg working with computers) and near vision (eg reading tablets, phones, books). They are the lens type which are most likely to result in spectacle independence. In some people multifocal lenses can result in haloes around lights which are most commonly noticed when driving at night. Usually these are very mild. However, in around 1 in 200 cases, haloes can be very troubling to the point where these lenses need to be removed.
Option 3: Extended depth of focus (EDOF) lens implants.
EDOF lenses provide not only excellent distance vision without glasses (eg driving, watching TV), they also provide excellent intermediate distance vision (eg working with computers). EDOF lenses also provide some degree of near vision (eg reading tablets, phones, books), although glasses are still required to read small print, particularly under low light conditions. Although the near vision provided by EDOF lenses is not quite as good as that provided by multifocal lenses, it is very rare for haloes to be noticed by patients.
Option 4: “Blended vision” or “monovision.”
In blended vision, artificial lens implants are inserted which result in one eye being focused for distance and the other eye being focused for near. Blended vision significantly reduces the need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. It usually allows people to be glasses-free for most daily activities. Patients may still require glasses for reading very fine print and/or for driving at night. Because one eye is focused for distance and the other for near, it can take the brain a few months to fully adapt to blended vision.
CAN I HAVE CATARACT SURGERY IN BRISBANE IF I DON’T HAVE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Dr McLintock offers “intermediate” cataract surgery to patients in Brisbane who do not have private health insurance and would like to have their cataract surgery performed sooner than is possible through public hospital waiting lists. Through “intermediate” cataract surgery, patients with cataract in Brisbane are able to have their surgery performed by Dr McLintock at the Princess Alexandra Hospital as a private patient.
The wait time for this is 2-3 months, much less than the standard waiting time for surgery through the public system. As an “intermediate” patient you have your surgery performed by a fully qualified Eye Surgeon (Dr McLintock), not a training Doctor.
HOW MUCH DOES CATARACT SURGERY COST IN BRISBANE IF I DON’T HAVE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
The total out-of-pocket cost for “intermediate” cataract surgery through the Princess Alexandra Hospital with Dr McLintock is from $1946. This includes the Surgeon fee, Anaesthetist fee, hospital fee and a standard monofocal lens implant. Costs can be higher for patients wishing to be less dependent on spectacles following their surgery because this usually requires more expensive lens implants.
Dr McLintock provides eye surgery consultations at Upper Mount Gravatt, Taringa, Spring Hill and Hervey Bay. Find your nearest Cataract Surgery Brisbane clinic here.
About Dr Cameron McLintock
Dr McLintock is a Brisbane Ophthalmologist (Eye Surgeon) with sub-specialist expertise in Cataract Surgery, Refractive Laser Eye Surgery and Corneal transplantation. He is committed to patient-focused care and providing his patients with international standard, leading-edge treatments available for their eye health.