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Cataract surgery

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a common problem, over 40 million cataract surgeries are performed per year worldwide.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of your eye which may cause your vision to become blurry or misty. They appear as opaque, cloudy patches in your field of vision.

Since cataracts take time to develop, half of the patients affeted by the condition are over the age of 65. However, it can occur at any age (especially if it runs in your family). In some cases, people are born with cataracts. The condition can affect one or both of your eyes.

As you become older cataracts usually become more prevalent. There are certain risk factors (beside age) which make you more prone to developing this condition such as:

  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • diseases of the immune system
Cataract
Cataract

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

You may not have any symptoms when cataracts begin to develop and you might be diagnosed at a routine screening by your optician.

However, as the disease progresses you can experience the following symptoms:

  • Double vision
  • You see colors faded, or have a yellowish hue to your sight
  • You are not able to see well in bright light
  • Your vision is dim
  • Your glasses or contact lenses are not helping much to improve your sight (if you are wearing any)

It’s important to consult with an ophthalmologist if you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms so they can examine you and address the issues if needed.

When is cataract surgery necessary?

A bit of cloudiness and a worsening eye-sight is a normal part of aging. Nevertheless, if you experience a significant change you should be examined by an ophtalmologist or another professional who is trained to recognize cataracts.

The development of cataracts is an irreversible process.  However, if your symptoms are mild, delaying treatment until you have had time to consider the risks and benefits of surgery won’t result in permanent damage to your eyes.

Currently, there is no other treatment option for cataracts available on the market beside surgery. You don’t need to worry though because cataract surgery is an extremely safe routine procedure at a reasonable price.

Moreover, cataract surgeries are much more affordable in Hungary compared to other EU countries, with the same level of professionalism and care.

Cataract surgery is recommended in the following cases:

  • Your worsening eyesight interferes with your work (driving, operating machines or other professions where proper eyesight is a must)
  • You have lost more than 30% of your eyesight
  • Your ophthalmologist recommends surgery for some other medical reason

Why choose multifocal lenses?

Multifocal lenses improve vision at all, near far and intermediate.  Many people who used to wear corrective lenses no longer need them after having multifocal lenses implanted during cataract surgery. They have no problem seeing far and can work on the computer equally well without having to wear glasses or contact lenses like they used to.

Unlike with contact lenses and glasses which require a new prescription every year, most patients undergoing surgery see lasting results. These lenses are implanted in the eye, therefore  maintenance is not required. In the long run, patients save a lot of time and money.

The advantages of multifocal lenses:

  • Multifocal lenses have focus zones that allow the patient to see clearly at near and far distances.
  • Unlike monofocal intraocular lenses, multifocal ones help the patient see a range of distances.
  • Patients with multifocal lenses may have better near vision.

How is the surgery performed?

As a first step (after you have gone through the mandatory pre-operative tests) your doctor will apply eye drops to make sure you feel no pain during the procedure.

Eye drops are a safe and needle-free alternative to injections and other pain management methods. General anesthesia is only given in exceptional cases.

Your surgeon will make a tiny (smaller than 3mm) incision into the front of your eye. Through this cut they break up the opaque, gray lens into smaller pieces with the help of ultrasound, then  remove the pieces one by one. The next step is to insert your new artificial intraocular lens. With that the surgery is practically over, as the site of the incision heals by itself, without any stitches. There is no bleeding involved in this type of surgery. The whole procedure takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.You will get a special cover (or bandage) on your eye which should not be removed for another 24 hours.

After one or two hours of monitoring you will be discharged from hospital. Please note, that at this point you will not be allowed to drive yet.

Cataract surgery
Procedure of Cataract surgery

What is the cost of cataract surgery?

Prices include all the costs associated with the operation, as well as the postoperative follow-up. Please note that in most cases it is safe to perform cataract surgery on both eyes in one go, but  your doctor will decide whether it is recommended in your particular case based on your test results.

 

Type of surgery £
Cataract surgery (one eye) € 750 £ 650
Cataract surgery with multifocal lenses (one eye) € 1 800 £ 1 550
Cataract surgery with toric lenses (one eye) € 1 020 £ 880

 

For further information call our Medical Tourism Manager:

Phone: +36 20 383 9518
E-mail address:  info@mysurgeryabroad.com

What are the risks and benefits of cataract surgery?

When you have impaired vision due to cataracts, surgery is always your best shot. It will restore your eyesight with a minimal risk of complications.

+ Cataract surgery is a fast routine procedure
+ There is  absolutely no pain  associated with this type of surgery
+ You’ll experience a tremendous improvement in your vision
+ You can most likely stop wearing glasses after surgery

– In a few years’ time you may develop posterior capsule opacification (PCO) which can be corrected with laser eye surgery
– In extremely rare cases, your vision can become worse rather than improve as a result of the surgery

Am I a good candidate for the operation?

In each individual case the doctor considers the risks and benefits of surgery. If you have certain risk factors they may outweigh the benefits:

  • the elderly especially people whose health is more fragile are more prone to complications
  • those with a compromised immune system may can take longer to recover (patients suffering from HIV, Hepatitis, etc.)
  • for some patients with multiple eye conditions surgery might not be the best option

Of course, if you follow your doctor’s orders regarding aftercare the risk of complications can be reduced to a minimum.

How to prepare for the surgery?

Before cataract surgery, you will need to have some tests. This allows your doctor to determine whether your general health allows you to undergo surgery.

You will need a complete blood count and ECG. An internist will review your results and decide whether cataract surgery is safe for you.

You won’t have to stop taking your regular medicines before surgery, except if you are taking supplements for a prostate condition. In that case you will be asked to stop taking them one month prior to surgery.

In the morning of the procedure, you will be strongly advised to have breakfast and drink fluids. Your doctor will measure your vision again, and together you will choose the right lens.

What will happen to my vision after surgery?

The aim of the surgery is to restore your vision to the pre-cataract state by removing the opaque, inadequate lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

However, if you had vision problems prior to developing cataracts (whether you were short-sighted or farsighted), surgery can also be used to correct your vision. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you and your doctor can choose a multifocal lens implant which may allow you to stop wearing them entirely.

Before surgery your doctor will test your eyesight and recommend the perfect lens for you. There are all kinds of artificial lenses you and your doctor can choose from.

Refractive errors, short and farsightedness can be corrected with these lenses meaning you can hope for a tremendous improvement in your vision after cataract surgery.

What can I do to recover fast?

You likely won’t have any difficulties recovering from cataract surgery. You can leave hospital after just a few hours of monitoring and rest in your own home. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed for you to prevent any infections and alleviate pain – that is if you have any.

Restricting your daily activities will not be necessary. You should be able to perform your usual daily tasks without problems. You can read books, watch TV, drive and so on. The only thing your doctor will suggest you stay away from for about 2 weeks is carrying heavy objects.

Minor side-effects do occur sometimes but they are rare and tolerable. You should know that even though your problematic lens is removed and a new one is implanted, your eye needs a few days to adjust to the change.

You are expected to have recovered by week 4. This is also the time when you can have new glasses prescribed (if needed).

Is regular follow-up important after surgery?

Yes, your doc tor will want to test your eyesight regularly following the procedure to make sure you are recovering as expected.

The first follow-up appointment takes place a week after surgery. The second one is due at 4 weeks. You may choose not to travel to Budapest for this second appointment and that’s perfectly fine. You can go to your usual ophtalmologist in your home country as long as the same tests are performed.

For the sake of your recovery it is very important not to miss your follow-up appointments.