Cataract Surgery

A cataract refers to a clouding of the lens in the eye. The lens is situated behind the iris and helps to focus light on the retina. The lens needs to be clear for the retina to receive a clear image.

The word is derived from the Latin “cataract”, meaning “waterfall”. Water falling down a waterfall turns white and the term may have been used to describe the hazy vision or similar appearance of the lens when it starts losing its clear properties and develops opacities.

The lens primarily consists of water and protein. With time, the protein starts clumping together causing a clouding (cataract) of the lens. This may progress and cause blurry vision. This is usually a slow process. Discolouration could also be noticed when the lens takes on a slightly brownish tint.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common types of surgery performed in the world.

At Garden Route Eye Clinic, our surgeons perform cataract surgery under topical anaesthetic with conscious sedation. This is now the most modern type of anaesthetic used for cataract surgery worldwide. This method also eliminates the discomfort or added risk from an injection around the eye and it also ensures a more pleasant patient experience.

The actual surgery often lasts about 15 minutes and your time in theatre would be no longer usually than about 30 minutes.

What the process entails is that you receive drops that will numb your eye. A qualified anaesthetist will be present to administer an intravenous drug to sedate you, but this is not a deep or general anaesthesia. It is a pleasant and relaxing experience without the risk or longer recovery period of a general anaesthetic. The cloudy lens is removed by means of Ultrasound and replaced with a clear artificial lens, no sutures are used. In certain cases, however, general anaesthesia may still be used.

Normal recovery period for Cataract Surgery is approximately 4-6 weeks.


At Garden Route Eye Clinic,
we believe in integrity and compassionate care.