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Cataract removal surgery

Expert assessment and treatment for a wide range of eye and vision problems.

A cataract is when the lens of your eye, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy. If you have cataracts, you will probably have cloudy vision, and perhaps things will look blurry and less colourful.
Cataract surgery describes medical procedures to remove the cloudy lens inside your eye and replace it with an artificial lens. This form of surgery falls under the medical specialism of ophthalmology. 

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery that deals with the treatment of disorders of your eye. Ophthalmologists are medically trained doctors who help treat people with short-term and long-term eye conditions.

The procedures and techniques of cataract removal surgery help reverse blurred vision and eliminate your reliance on glasses and contact lenses. 

Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye (a transparent disc) develops cloudy patches. As we age, our lenses become increasingly blurred, limiting our vision. Putting up with blurred vision can have a detrimental effect on many aspects of life, including your fulfillment of daily activities, hobbies, and relationships. This, in turn, can have a knock-on effect on your emotional health, sometimes causing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

At The Alexandra Hospital, we have a network of dedicated Ophthalmologists able to perform cataract removal surgery to reverse blurred vision. They are committed to delivering brilliant results to people in Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and further afield. 

Most cataracts are age-related, occurring because of natural changes in your eye as your age. However, some cataracts can be caused by injury, or develop following surgery for a different eye condition, such as glaucoma. 
Symptoms of cataracts are typically progressive, meaning they develop gradually over time. As cataracts grow, they can cause changes in your vision. If you have cataracts, you might experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Faded colours
  • A halo around lights
  • Lamps or headlights may appear too bright
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision

Over time, cataracts can lead to vision loss. Discuss your symptoms with your Consultant to receive an accurate diagnosis for cataracts and begin your tailored treatment journey today.

Usually, cataracts are a natural symptom of ageing. In fact, ageing is the most common cause of cataracts. However, the condition can also be caused by other factors, such as: 

  • Taking steroid medication for a long time
  • Regularly drinking excessive alcohol
  • Smoking
  • A diet lacking in essential vitamins
  • An eye injury
  • Genetics (a family history of cataracts)
  • Certain health conditions, such as diabetes

Cataracts risk factors

According to the National Eye Institute, your risk of developing cataracts increases as you age, but can also increase if: 

  • You have had an eye injury, surgery or radiation treatment on your upper body
  • You have existing health problems, including diabetes or arthritis
  • You have spent a lot of time in the sun

Most cataract surgeries are performed under local anaesthetic, meaning you will be awake during the operation but you won’t feel any pain or discomfort throughout. 

Most cataract surgery in the UK is performed by phacoemulsification. This is a form of cataract removal surgery involving the use of a specialist probe that uses ultrasound to break up the lens in your eye. During surgery, your Ophthalmologist will remove your broken lens using a suction technique. 

After your lens has been removed, your Ophthalmologist will replace it with an artificial lens. You will know which type of lens you will have fitted before your surgery. The type of lens you have fitted will depend on your individual visual needs. For example, whether you are long-sighted or short-sighted.

At The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester, our network of specialist Ophthalmologists performs cataract removal surgery by phacoemulsification. During this process, your Ophthalmologist will make a small incision on the side of your cornea. They will then insert a small probe into your eye. This will emit ultrasound that breaks up the lens of your eye, so that it can be removed using a suction technique. Your lens will then be replaced with an artificial lens, as explained above. Often, the incision on the side of your eye will close and heal on its own. If your Consultant uses stitches, these will be dissolvable.

What type of lenses are available?

We offer a range of different lens options at our hospital, including: 

Monofocal lenses: This aims to reduce your dependence on glasses for distance vision.  
Multifocal lenses: A multifocal intraocular lens aims to reduce your dependence on wearing glasses for a wider range of activities that involve your intermediate and near vision.  
Toric lenses: A toric intraocular lens aims to correct astigmatism, near-sightedness and far-sightedness. Astigmatism is when your eye has a slightly curved shape. It can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

Before surgery, you will undergo assessment with your Ophthalmologist to discuss the following: 

  • Your lens preference, depending on your visual needs
  • What to expect from your recovery timeline
  • The benefits of having surgery
  • Whether you will need glasses following surgery
  • Which type of lens you need fitted 

This assessment is there to ensure you experience the highest standards of care throughout your healthcare journey, and that you feel safe and informed every step of the way.

How long does cataract surgery take?

Cataract removal surgery is a straightforward procedure that usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. If you require cataract removal surgery in both eyes, will typically wait for one to three weeks after operating on your first eye before performing cataract removal surgery on your second eye. 

You should be able to leave hospital on the same day as you have surgery. 

Your Consultant will provide you with a pad or a plastic eye shield to wear over your eye when you leave the hospital. Most people wear it for a day, but your Consultant will give you tailored information on how long you should wear yours, based on your individual circumstances. They will also provide you with eyedrops to help heal your eye(s) and prevent infection. Please do avoid rubbing your eyes after surgery. This is to prevent infection and help your eye heal. 

You will not be able to drive home from hospital on your own. You can organise a lift back with a friend or family member, or a member of our team can arrange for a taxi to collect you at our hospital. Please just let us know if we can help. 

It may take a few days after surgery for your vision to return fully. To prevent any accidents at home, please remember to eliminate tripping hazards such as loose tiling or general mess before your surgery. You might also experience watering, grittiness, and a red or bloodshot eye or eyes following surgery. These symptoms are common and can sometimes take four to six weeks to clear up.

The incision made on your eye during the procedure will heal naturally over time, so there is no need to do anything special to encourage the recovery process. Just look after yourself and avoid rubbing your eyes.

Most people will need to wear glasses for some small, everyday tasks after surgery (like reading), but this depends on the type of lens fitted. In some people, certain lenses can correct their vision to the extent that they don’t need to wear glasses at all any more.

Ask your Consultant about this and any other cataract surgery aftercare questions you have.

Your long-term recovery from cataract surgery

Within six weeks, you should be fully recovered from cataract removal surgery and have clear sight (without blurriness) again.

Remember, your healthcare team is here to answer any questions you have throughout each stage of your healthcare journey. They will keep you informed throughout, and are always available to answer any questions you might have.  

Cataract removal surgery for one eye: ranging from £2,548* to £4,011*

Cataract removal and lens implant for both eyes: starting from £4,512*

The price of cataract surgery will vary depending on factors including the type of surgery you have and the type of lens you have. 

Paying for surgery with us is a simple process. We offer several flexible easy payment options. These help you to spread the cost of your payment across a time that suits you. You can find out more about our flexible payment options here.

To find out more about the process of paying for your treatment, you can speak to a trusted member of our advisory team on 0161 428 3656

*The prices listed above include the cost of your initial consultation, treatment, and post-discharge care at our hospital. But these prices are only an estimate. The total cost of your treatment will be confirmed in writing after your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests. Further terms and conditions apply.

At The Alexandra Hospital, our exceptional standards of care are shown in our latest patient satisfaction survey, with 96.9% of patients rating their quality of care at The Alexandra Hospital as excellent or very good. 
There are many advantages to having treatment with us. These include: 

  • The ability to choose the right Consultant for you
  • Expert care from a compassionate team
  • Stringent checks and processes to ensure your safety at all times
  • Free, easy-to-access parking around the clock
  • Catering services to suit your dietary requirements
  • En-suite hospital rooms with Wi-Fi, TV, and direct-dial telephone
  • Sophisticated onsite diagnostic equipment, including MRI and CT scanning

Find help for your eye problems today by phoning a member of our team on 0161 428 3656 or booking an appointment online. 

The risk of serious complications developing as a result of cataract surgery is estimated at around 1 in 50 cases. These risks can include:

  • Vision loss
  • A detached retina
  • Blurred vision

Speak with your Consultant about these potential risks in more detail. They should be able to ease any of your worries. 

Specialists offering Cataract surgery

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Mr Assad Jalil

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Vitreo-retinal and Cataract Surgeon and Uveitis Specialist


The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Susmito Biswas

Consultant Paediatric Opthalmologist and Ophthalmic Surgeon

BSc. Hons, MB BS, FRCOphth

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Manoj Kulshrestha

Consultant Ophthalmologist


Werndale Hospital 1 more The Alexandra Hospital

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Dr Conrad Yuen

Consultant Ophthalmologist

MB ChB with Commendation

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Tim de Klerk

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

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