Cataract Surgery Melbourne

Cataract Illustration of a healthy eye compared to an eye with a cataract.

A cataract is the clouding of the natural crystalline lens in your eye. It is a natural part of the aging process and is a common cause of gradual deterioration in our eyesight as we get older. If a cataract is causing visual symptoms that are interfering with your life, cataract surgery may be needed to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens that can significantly improve the quality of your vision.

What happens during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is performed by an experienced cataract surgeon as a day surgery. Before the procedure, your anaesthetist will give you a light sedative to make you feel calm and relaxed. Anaesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eye.

A very small opening, less than 2.5mm wide, is created to access the cataract. A circular opening in the front of the lens, known as a capsulorrhexis, is made in the capsular bag, which is a thin membrane that surrounds the cataract.

An ultrasound probe is then used to break down and aspirate the cataract using high frequency ultrasound energy in a process known as phacoemulsification. Once the cataract has been removed, what remains is a thin clear, capsular bag. An artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL), is then folded and implanted into the capsular bag, through the same incision. This tiny incision is self-sealing and does not require any sutures.

This procedure takes approximately 15 minutes, but you should expect to be at the day surgery for at least 2 hours to allow for recovery from the sedation. We recommend that you have someone with you to drive you home.

Happy elderly female patient.

How quickly will my vision improve after cataract surgery?

Visual recovery is fast and most patients are able to see well by the next day. Your vision will continue to improve as the eye heals and settles down over the first few weeks following cataract surgery. It is not uncommon for the eye to feel gritty and irritable for a few days after surgery. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to prevent infection and assist with healing.

What is Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)?

In Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS), also known as laser-assisted cataract surgery, a femtosecond laser is used to perform specific steps of the procedure with extreme precision. Previously used only for creating flaps in LASIK laser eye surgery, the femtosecond technology has been adapted for use in cataract and refractive lens exchange surgery.

FLACS does not replace the phacoemulsification part of the procedure but is used to make precise incisions, create a perfectly sized capsulorrhexis and perform segmentation of the cataract prior to its removal via phacoemulsification. Dr Goh uses the advanced LenSx® femtosecond laser cataract platform, which allows for image-guided, computer-controlled precision in performing these first three critical steps of cataract surgery.

Booking a consultation

Dr Joanne Goh is a leading cataract surgeon, dedicated to achieving the best results for her patients. If you’re located in Melbourne and would like to find out more about cataract surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery, please contact us on (03) 8080 1082 to book a consultation or click on the button below to request a call back.

Cataract Surgery FAQs

Cataract surgery is performed to remove the cloudy lens (cataract) in your eye and replace it with a clear, artificial intraocular lens to allow clear vision to be restored. In refractive lens exchange however, instead of removing a cloudy lens, your natural clear lens is removed for the purpose of correcting the refractive (focussing) power of your eye to achieve spectacle independence. This procedure is also known as a clear lens exchange.

The surgery itself is exactly the same; however, the terminology allows for distinction between removal of a cloudy versus a clear lens.

Cataract surgery is covered by Medicare and private health insurance but not refractive lens exchange surgery.

A referral from your GP or optometrist is required for you to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultation.

Dr Goh performs cataract and lens exchange surgery at the Manningham Private Hospital in Templestowe Lower, Melbourne.

Refractive lens exchange allows for correction of a wide range of prescriptions including myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism.

Vision typically improves by the next day, but it may take up to 4 weeks for full recovery.

One eye is done at a time. The second eye is typically done anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks after the first eye. We recommend taking 2 to 3 days off work after surgery on each eye.

Most people are able to resume driving 1 to 2 days after cataract surgery. Individual advice will be given by our specialist cataract surgeon, Dr Goh, at your consultation if you are deemed unsuitable to drive whilst awaiting surgery on your second eye.