The recently refurbished Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital offers a number of expert Ophthalmology consultants that specialise in cataract surgery. They are on-hand to guide you from initial consultation, through to eye surgery and then aftercare.
We are conveniently located in the Clifton area of Bristol, with on-site car parking. Our patients benefit from our dedicated support staff as well as state-of-the-art hospital facilities. If cataracts are affecting your eye sight come and talk to our Ophthalmology experts, contact us today or attend a free open event.
What is a cataract?
If you have a cataract, the lens is cloudy. This happens gradually over a long period of time. Your vision will become blurry as the cataract develops, until the whole of the lens is cloudy. Your sight will slowly get worse, becoming blurry or misty, making it difficult to see clearly.
Cataracts can happen at any age but usually develop as you get older. Cataracts can also develop due to diabetes, use of steroid medication, trauma or for genetic reasons.
If a cataract prevents you from reading or driving, or doing your normal day-to-day activities, it is advisable to have surgery.
After surgery, the cataract will be gone and you should be able to see more clearly. Your eyesight won’t be perfect if you have other eye problems, but you should be able to return to routine activities of daily life and the things you enjoy.
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Before your eye operation at our Bristol Hospital
Before you come into hospital for your operation, you will be asked questions about your health by one of our nurses. Further ‘pre-assessment’ questions may be asked over the phone, or you might be asked to come into the hospital for some simple tests, such as a blood test or a test on the heart called an ECG (Electrocardiogram).
Please let us know if you are taking any regular or herbal medication. Be sure to bring your medication with you on the day of your operation in the original containers. If you do take prescribed medicine on a regular basis, we will give you specific advice about continuing your medication, and what to do on the morning of your operation.
If you are a diabetic you’ll be given instructions about your medication on the day of surgery and told when to stop eating and drinking.
It’s particularly vital you tell us if you are taking any type of blood thinning medication (anticoagulant). Medication of this kind can make your blood clot more slowly. We need to ensure your blood is clotting normally before we operate.
What happens during cataract surgery?
When it’s time to go to the operating theatre, our ward staff will escort you. Once there, our theatre staff will take you to the anaesthetic room. They are very reassuring - they will understand how you feel and will try to help you in every way possible.
You will be given eye drops before the operation. These are prescribed by the consultant and are needed to prepare your eye.
Cataract surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make a tiny incision (cut) in your cornea (the outer layer of your eye). Using a tiny probe that emits ultrasound waves, the surgeon will break up the cataract and remove the pieces from your eye. This is called phacoemulsification. A new lens implant will be inserted replacing the cataract.
After cataract surgery
Once your operation is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery room. You will have a protective pad and a plastic shield covering your eye for a few hours. The local anaesthetic does cause numbness, but normal sensation will return in a few hours.
Your eye may feel little bit uncomfortable but regular pain relief is usually enough to treat this. After the operation, you will be given more eye drops containing a steroid, to help reduce inflammation, and an antibiotic to help stop any infection. Try not to touch or disturb your dressings as this can introduce infection. If you notice any discharge or have any pain, don’t hesitate to speak to one of the nurses.
After you’ve recovered from the effects of any anaesthetic you can go home.
Please remember to arrange for someone to pick you up from our Bristol hospital after your surgery. You may find wearing sunglasses comfortable as your eyes may be sensitive to sunlight. You may need help at home for the first 24 hours. Avoid bending over as this may cause pressure on your eye. Your eye may be red and bright lights could be uncomfortable. Your eyesight should improve within a few days, although complete healing can take several months. You can shower or bath and wash your hair after 48 hours, but be careful not to get soap and water in your eye.
It’s important that you don’t rub your eye. To prevent yourself doing this in your sleep, you will need to use the plastic shield taped over your eye at night for one to two weeks. Keep the plastic shield clean by washing it with soap and water.
If you go outside, protect your eye with glasses to avoid anything such as dust or grit blowing into it. If you find that your eyes become sticky, you can gently wipe the eyelids with cotton wool dampened in cool water that has been boiled.
It’s usual to return to see your consultant as an outpatient after your operation. You will be given details about any appointments before you leave.
You will be prescribed eye drops to use when you get home. These will have been tested to make sure they are free from germs. To keep them in good condition, please make sure you:
- Keep the bottle tightly closed when not using the drops
- Keep the drops in the refrigerator if you are told to
- Do not put the dropper down on any surface
- Do not let the nozzle of the dropper touch your eye or fingers
- Never lend your eye drops to anyone else
- Dispose of your eye drops after four weeks. (When you open the drops, write the date on the bottle, so you know when to throw them away)
When you get home, you should rest for the first two or three days, but it is important to keep mobile. Avoid bending over as this may cause pressure on your eye.
Using your eye drops
Before using your eye drops, wash your hands thoroughly. Tilt your head backwards and look up; pull down the lower eyelid until there is a small pocket. Then squeeze the dropper bottle and allow one drop to enter the pocket between the lower lid and the eye.
Try not to let the dropper touch your eye or eyelid. Close your eye and blink several times, but do not rub it.
Getting back to normal
If you work, your consultant will tell you when you are able to go back to work. It may depend on the type of job you do. You should avoid excessive bending, lifting heavy objects and doing any strenuous activity for four to six weeks after the operation.
You can do light jobs, housework and cooking almost immediately after the operation and you will be able to read, watch TV and go out as usual. You should be able to get back to most of your activities by four weeks, as long as your eye has healed. You can wear glasses if they help with your vision. However, you will need new glasses after the treatment and should visit your optometrist to get them.
Driving is dependent on your vision. You should check with your surgeon when you can drive again. If you are in any doubt about your insurance cover, it’s best to contact your insurance company.
Possible complications with cataract surgery
As with all surgery, there are risks involved. Your consultant will be well informed about all of these and can talk you through them.
General complications from surgery:
Specific complications of cataract surgery may include:
- Aching of the eye
- Bruising of the eyelid
- Thickening of the lens casing (the part which holds the lens in place). This can be corrected with laser surgery
< li>Blurry vision (full healing will take several months)
3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN
|Initial consultation||from £150|
|Diagnostics||If needed to determine treatment plan|
|Pre-assessment, Main treatment and Post-discharge care||£3,295|
The guide price
stated above is an approximation of the cost of treatment only. The final price
may vary according to Consultant fees, prosthesis or drugs used and any
pre-existing medical conditions which may alter your care pathway.
You will be given a fixed all-inclusive price for treatment following
your initial consultation with a Consultant.
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