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Cataract surgery

Your journey with us

Cataracts are a very common eye condition that usually develop as we age, causing cloudy or misty patches in the eye’s clear lens. Although cataracts will not usually cause any damage, they can get in the way of what you love doing every day. Our fast-track service means that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

Learn more about cataracts with Nigel Kirkpatrick, consultant ophthalmologist and partner at Newmedica Gloucester.

What are the symptoms?

Cataracts are not usually painful, nor do they irritate your eyes. You may not even notice any symptoms at first, as they typically develop over several years. But usually, people with cataracts will experience blurred or cloudy vision, or have patches where vision is less clear.

Who needs cataract surgery?

Cataracts will not usually damage your eyes, but if you find that the cloudiness of your vision, caused by the cataract, starts to make it difficult to see and carry out your normal daily activities, it might be time for you to consider cataract surgery.

Your vision may stay the same without surgery, but it is likely that it will gradually get worse over time.

See how cataracts can affect your vision with the examples below

Normal vision

Normal vision

Moderate vision

Moderate cataracts

Moderate vision

Severe cataracts

What are the benefits of having surgery?

The most obvious benefit to cataract surgery is the improvement in your vision. The vast majority of patients find that their eyesight improves considerably after surgery. This is because surgery involves removing the cloudy lens (cataract) and replacing it with a new artificial lens.

You may also notice an improvement in sharpness, brightness and your perception of colour.


Tests and
health checks

Before your treatment

Before you have your surgery, you’ll have your vision measured and a biometry test to ensure that your new lens is the correct one for you. A nurse will go through some relevant health checks and talk you through the procedure. You’ll also meet with your consultant eye surgeon who will examine your eyes and answer any questions you may have.

How long is the recovery period?

After cataract surgery, you will be mobile, but you will need to make sure that you rest. It’s normal to experience some itchiness, sticky eyelids, or fluid discharge during this time. Mild discomfort can be managed by taking paracetamol as advised.

After a few days even mild discomfort should begin to disappear, and in most cases, healing will take about two to six weeks.

During recovery you’ll need to wear a plastic shield at night to protect the eye when sleeping. You’ll also need to use eye drops for about four weeks to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Your consultant will discuss all these details with you during your appointment.

What are the possible complications?

As with most surgical procedures, there is a small element of risk to cataract surgery. Your consultant will discuss these fully with you.

Some people develop a common complication after surgery where the artificial lens goes cloudy. This is easily treated with a procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy.

Going private

As well as providing this service on behalf of the NHS, some of our clinics are able to offer consultant-led private cataract surgery at an affordable price.

find out more

How do I get referred?

Your optician or GP will discuss the various treatment options available to you and where you can choose to have your treatment. You’ll be able to take the time to decide where you’d like to be treated, and your GP or optician will make the arrangements for your referral.

How to refer

Please follow your local protocol regarding referrals – we accept direct referrals by secure email, fax, OptoManager and post. Please call us on the number at the top of this page if you would like any further information about making a referral to Newmedica.

  • BMI >40, weight >160kg and unable to transfer independently
  • Uncontrolled hypertension – persistent diastolic >100mmHg
  • MI or CVA within 3 months of surgery MRSA positive
  • Active exposed skin infection Indwelling defibrillators
  • Poorly controlled diabetes – BS >20

For optometrists
Send a letter to the patient’s GP with GOS18 requesting an onward referral via ERS.

For GPs and Referral Centres
Send a referral form to Newmedica with GOS18 by post or secure fax 020 7924 6262 or email to:

Cataract and oculoplastic referrals will be assessed against local criteria.

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