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Pre- and Post-operative Cataract Services

What are Pre- and Post-operative Cataract Services?

This service is for people who are considering having surgery to remove cataracts, and people who have had cataract surgery, to provide post-operative care.

What is the Pre- and Post-operative Cataract Service?

This service has two elements. The Enhanced Cataract Referral Service provides information and advice for people who have been identified as potentially needing to have cataract surgery. This will ensure only patients who need, want and are eligible for surgery are referred, whilst ensuring there is a thorough shared decision-making process with patients.

The post-operative cataract service is for people who have had their cataract(s) removed. It provides follow-up monitoring and care after the operation.

This is an NHS service provided by accredited optometrists (also commonly known as opticians).

Cataract slit lamp

What Happens at an Enhanced Cataract Referral Service Appointment?

This is a pre-operative service for people who have been referred by their optometrist, GP or treatment centre following the identification of a cataract which is affecting their vision.

It is designed to help you make an informed decision about having your cataract surgically removed.

During the appointment the optometrist will:

  • Confirm the presence of a cataract that may need surgery.
  • Give you information about what cataracts are and how they affect vision.
  • Explain what is involved in cataract surgery and how long it takes.
  • Explain the possible risks and benefits.

You will then have time and support to decide if you wish to proceed with the operation. If you decide you want, need and are eligible to have the operation, the optometrist will refer you for surgery. If you decide you do not want to have surgery, the optometrist will discharge you, with advice to continue having regular eye examinations with your usual optometrist.

What Happens at a Post-Operative Cataract Appointment?

This service supports your eye health after you have undergone surgery to remove your cataract. It typically takes place approximately four weeks after the operation.

During the appointment the optometrist will:

  • Examine your eye to check for any post-surgery complications.
  • Provide information about post-operative self-care e.g. administering eye drops.
  • Explain what to do and who to contact if your vision changes or you have concerns.
  • Advise you if, and when, it is the right time to get new spectacles and how to do so.
  • Help you manage any other eye problems.

After this appointment you may be discharged, or referred to a treatment centre for further care if it is needed.

How Do I Arrange a Cataract Service Appointment?

Pre- and/or post-operative Cataract service appointments are arranged following a referral from your optometrist, GP or treatment centre. They will explain the process for booking appointments in your area. Your usual optometrist may provide this service if they are accredited.

When arranging appointments with an optical practice please contact the practice by telephone in the first instance. Please do not visit the practice without first making an appointment.

Useful Information

The College of Optometrists provide useful information on a range of eye conditions on their website lookafteryoureyes.org.

Click here for useful information and a video about Cataracts.