Cataract Surgery

Leo Sheck
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You can find a printable pdf copy of this information sheet here.

What is cataract?

Cataracts refer to the clouding of the lens which sits near the front part of the eye. They generally come on with age, however some may develop earlier due to congenital defects, medication or diabetes.

As cataracts develop, you may experience blurry vision or increased difficulty with glare, making driving at night difficult. It may change your glasses prescription up to a certain point where even stronger glasses may not help. Contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not caused by “overuse” of the eyes and screen time does not make it worse.

Patient with advanced cataract

Modern cataract surgery

We take pride to showcase advancements in surgical techniques since the first cataract surgery in the 1700s where lenses were removed in whole from large wounds. Now, cataract surgery is all done through micro incisions on the front part of the eye, where the lens is broken up into small chunks and removed with fine instruments. The whole procedure takes no longer than 15 minutes and does not require a hospital stay. No stitches are required as the wounds self-seal. Normal activities such as sports, walking and driving can resume after a few days.

Before your surgery, Dr Sheck will sit down with you to discuss your visual requirements and choose the lens that best suits your lifestyle. Just as we have the choice of different pairs of glasses for reading and driving, there is a wide variety of lens replacement options to choose from. Some people no longer want to wear glasses after cataract surgery, we have options for that too.  

Dr Sheck utilises the latest technology (Zeiss IOLMaster 700) to measure the eye and calculate the correct power for your eyes. The different lens options include:

  1. Single-focus lenses

These will give you your very best vision for distance. As implied by its name, it can either be adjusted for near or distance vision, but not both. Glasses are still required for close up work.

  1. Multi-focus lenses

There are many different varieties of lenses which allow focus at both near and far distances. 80% of people find that they can get rid of their glasses entirely.  Because of the way they work, there may be a small reduction in clarity and glare compared to single focus lenses.

  1. Astigmatism correcting lenses

Many people have irregularly shaped corneas, which can lead to trouble focusing. This is called astigmatism. Toric lenses are special lenses that correct for varying degrees of astigmatism.

As these lens choices come with different benefits and risks, Dr Sheck will guide you through the process of choosing the most appropriate implant for you based on your lifestyle and desire.

Schematic diagram of cataract

No stress, pain free, day-stay surgery

We understand any medical procedure, especially involving your eyes, can be daunting and even scary for some. Rest assured that Dr. Sheck and his team will make sure that you are kept comfortable and well taken care of at all times.

To prepare you for the day, this is what you can expect when you arrive for the procedure:

  1. Drops will be instilled in your eyes to dilate your pupil
  2. When you arrive in the operating suite, you may request for some medication to keep you relaxed if you wish
  3. You will have two choices of pain relief for the operation ;- anaesthetic injection or anaesthetic gel. Anaesthetic gel is becoming a more popular “no needle” option as it is associated with a faster recovery.
  4. You will feel a cold cleaning solution around the eye. A drape will be placed over your head and face. During the surgery, breathe normally and stay still. You will not see much but will hear different noises and voices during the procedure. An anaesthetist or nurse will be right beside you to ensure your safety and comfort at all times.
  5. After the surgery, you can relax in a reclining chair with a hot drink and biscuits. Most patients are able to return home after an hour.
  6. The eye patch should be kept on until the next morning. If it falls off, don’t worry, just keep the eye uncovered and use the drops as prescribed. Refrain from eye rubbing and minimise exposure to wind or dust.

Looking after your eye after surgery

Although cataract surgery is highly successful, there are a few things you need to do to ensure you get the best outcome possible.

  1. The self-sealing wound usually closes within 24-48 hours. To minimise the small risk of infection, it is very important for you to avoid getting anything into the operated eye. This means you have to be careful when you are washing your face or showering, and avoid activities that can produce dust or dirt (e.g. gardening or DIY) for one week. Try to avoid swimming for 2 weeks.
  2. Do not lift anything more than 10kg for 1 week to avoid disturbing the wounds or the intraocular lens.
  3. Use your eye drops as instructed by Dr Sheck.
  4. If the eye becomes very painful or if there is a deterioration in your vision, you need to contact Dr Sheck immediately.

You can expect that your vision to be quite good even just one day after your surgery, and by one week post-operatively, you should be seeing well. The eye will usually settle fully one month after your operation.


Modern cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure. However, as with any procedure, unforeseen events and complications can occur which can adversely affect the outcome. Dr Sheck will discuss the specific risks with you during your consultation, and ensure you have the best chance to achieve the vision you desire.

About Dr Leo Sheck

Dr Sheck is a RANZCO-qualified, internationally trained ophthalmologist. He combined his initial training in New Zealand with a two-year advanced fellowship in Moorfield Eye Hospital, London. He also holds a Doctorate in Ocular Genetics from the University of Auckland and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Cambridge. He specialises in medical retina diseases (injection therapy), cataract surgery, ocular genetics, uveitis and electrodiagnostics.