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The day of surgery

The nurses will have given you information about dos and don'ts on the day of surgery. You can expect to be at the hospital for about three to four hours, dependent on where you are on the operating list.

  • A nurse will admit you to the ward
  • Your pupils will be dilated with drops
  • A doctor will ask you to sign the consent form and ask you if you have any other questions

How is the surgery done?

The operation is done under local anaesthetic using an injection into the lids to numb the eye or in some cases using just local anaesthetic drops. In either case you will not feel any pain. You will however be aware of the surgeon touching your face during the procedure.

  • Your eye and face will be cleaned using iodine solution
  • A plastic drape will be placed over your eye to make a sort of tent which you will lie under. Some fresh air will be blown under the drape to prevent things becoming too stuffy.
  • The operation is then started under an operating microscope.
  • Some very small incisions are made in the eye using a special ultrasound instrument the size of a pen. The contents of the lens are dissolved and sucked from the eye. This is called phacoemulsification.
  • The machine makes a variety of hissing and beeping noises.
  • You may be aware of water running down the side of your face.
  • You may see a variety of interesting visual symptoms such as various colours, patterns and shadows during the surgery.
  • The majority of the outer coating of the lens, the lens capsule, is left within the eye. This will support the articial lens implant that will replace the natural lens.
  • Stitches are not usually needed.
  • At the end of the operation, a pad and a shield will be placed on the eye to protect it.


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