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        Highly experienced world-renowned cataract surgeons
      • Superb interest free finance options up to 24 months
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        Immaculate 5-star hospitals nationwide

      What is a cataract?

      A cataract is a painless gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the pupil and the iris. The most common cause of cataracts is ageing, though they can also be caused by a secondary medical condition or injury. If you are suffering from this condition, there is no need to simply put up with it.


      ⁤To understand the impacts of cataracts, it’s essential to first understand the function of the eye’s natural lens and the retina. ⁤⁤The retina is a light-sensitive tissue positioned at the back of the eye. The lens, the clear part of your eye helps to focus light onto the retina. Therefore, when the lens becomes clouded, it leads to vision impairment. ⁤


      Cataract surgery is the only treatment option once you have been diagnosed. Cataract removal is nothing to be fearful of as it is a fast, pain-free procedure conducted as a day case. In fact, it is the most commonly performed elective surgery within the NHS. Read more about how low the risks of cataract surgery are.


      At Optegra, we are one of the leading providers of cataract surgery. Once done the procedure not only restores your vision to how it was before you had cataracts, it may also reduce your dependence on glasses, and in some cases eradicates the need for them altogether.

      What is cataract surgery?

      Cataract surgery involves making a tiny incision to the eye which allows the surgeon to remove the clouded lens. The clouded lens is then replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL replacement restores your vision, without it, just removing the eye’s natural lens would result in severely blurred vision.

      This synthetic lens lasts a lifetime so cataract surgery is a permanent procedure. The surgeon applies numbing anaesthetic drops to the eyes so you will not feel any pain during your cataract operation.

      At Optegra, we offer both standard and advanced cataract surgery options, which your clinical team will talk through with you. 

      Getting a diagnosis & referral

      A cataract diagnosis is usually made by a local GP or optician, after the patient has noted that their vision has become cloudy, blurred, or generally worsened over time. If you have been diagnosed with a cataract and are keen to have treatment sooner rather than later, Optegra is here to help. Your next step for referral after diagnosis depends on how you’d like to receive your treatment. 

      Private Patients

      For private patients, you can simply book a free initial telephone or video consultation or request a callback from one of our expert clinical team.

      NHS Patients

      For NHS patients, you will need to request a referral letter to Optegra from your optician or GP. Once you have this letter, you can call us on 0207 5094186 or email us at

      Optegra is proud to have helped tens of thousands of patients receive their NHS cataract treatment much more quickly. We are dedicated to continue to  support the NHS in tackling the large post-Covid waiting lists for eye surgery.

      Private vs NHS cataract surgery

      Optegra is unique because our NHS cataract service is complemented by an established private cataract surgery and vision correction service. Therefore, we have an unmatched ability to combine advanced vision correction technologies with our extensive cataract surgery services. 

      This means we can treat your cataract and improve your day-to-day vision all in one procedure, to minimise the need for ongoing use of glasses or contact lenses.

      As you can only have cataract surgery once, we believe that every patient considering NHS cataract treatment should be aware of all the options. This is especially the case for advanced intraocular lens (IOL) implant options. Advanced IOLs can be used instead of a standard lens to provide spectacle independence every day for the rest of your life, in addition to restoring your vision after cataract surgery.

      How much does private cataract surgery cost?

      Transparency is key for us, and we offer clear prices for our different types of cataract surgery. The cataract treatment most suitable for you will be determined according to your personal needs during our free initial consultation. We offer a range of helpful financing options, including up to 24 months completely interest free, to ensure that private cataract surgery is accessible to all who need it. Our indicative price range is below:

      Standard Cataract Treatment

      Cataract surgery with monofocal lens

      From £2,795 per eye

      Enhanced Cataract Treatment

      Cataract & astigmatism treatment with a toric lens

      From £3,495 per eye

      Advanced Cataract Treatment

      The most advanced cataract surgery using a multifocal lens

      From £3,895 per eye

      The benefits of private cataract surgery

      • Get treated by world renowned, NHS trained surgeons
      • Can have surgery without the need for a referral
      • Access advanced treatments not available on the NHS
      • Most patients can have bilateral sequential surgery (get both eyes treated on the same day, otherwise it is only a week's wait to get the second eye treated.)
      • Treatment to have freedom from glasses in addition to vision restoration post cataract surgery
      • Highly affordable 0% finance options
      • Best in class aftercare for up to 12 months*
      • Additional complimentary vision refinement treatments included*
      • Free initial consultation worth £300

      *on certain treatment packages.

      When to have cataract surgery

      There is no non-surgical treatment for cataracts. The only option to restore sight when affected by cataracts is to remove and replace the clouded natural lens with cataract surgery.

      However, a cataract doesn’t always need to be removed simply because it is present. If your cataract has no real impact on day-to-day life, then it is not recommended to have cataract surgery unless the impact on vision worsens. 

      Unlike laser eye surgery, cataract removal on the NHS is not an elective procedure and should only be carried out if deemed necessary by you and your surgeon. For example, if reading has become difficult, driving is impossible, or quality of life is impaired. These are all reasons for considering having cataract surgery.

      It’s important to realise that it is always you, the patient, who has the final say about whether you have cataract surgery. Our world class surgeons can help you understand what is involved and can advise you on the best way forward, but it is always entirely your choice. 

      Learn more about who qualifies for cataract surgery.

      Different types of cataract surgery explained

      We offer a few different types of cataract treatment. The most appropriate procedure for you will be determined by you and your consultant following an assessment at one of our clinics. 

      Our cataract surgery options differ based on the level of vision impairment that needs to be treated, along with the desired vision correction outcome for the patient:

      • Standard cataract treatment uses a standard monofocal lens to replace the cloudy cataract.
      • Enhanced cataract treatment uses a toric lens to replace the cloudy cataract and treat astigmatism at the same time.
      • Advanced cataract treatment uses a multifocal lens to replace the cloudy cataract and eliminates or vastly reduces the need for glasses or contact lenses at the same time.

      Read more about the different types of cataract surgery.

      Why choose Optegra?

      • 92% of cataract patients agreed/strongly agreed that their treatment was comfortable
      • 94% would recommend treatment to family and friends if they needed it
      • 88% said they could carry out their normal activities a few days after treatment
      • 88% were satisfied with their distance vision after treatment
      • Top rated on Trustpilot and Doctify, with over 1.3 million patients treated

      Why Choose Optegra For Private Cataract Surgery?

      Optegra is a great place to come for cataract surgery
      Dr Amir Hamid

      Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

      Our patient reviews

      • “Very Friendly, respectful and treated everyone the same. They really know what they’re doing. They even deserve more than 5 stars.”
        • Cataract Surgery Patient at Optegra, December 2022
      • “I found the whole experience professional and friendly. I was very impressed that all staff worked to a high standard. The surgery was painless and has achieved an excellent result. I remain very grateful to Optegra!”
        • Cataract Surgery Patient at Optegra, October 2022
      • “I found my consultant, Mr Morris, really inspired confidence and professionalism. The operation went smoothly, and the results of my cataract operation are truly amazing. After only 1 day, my vision was clear and I have not worn glasses since.”
        • Cataract Surgery Patient at Optegra, August 2019

      You can read further reviews from our patients on Trustpilot.


      Our Cataract Surgeons

      When it comes to your treatment day for cataract surgery, you’ll be in good hands with Optegra. Our cataract procedures are performed in one of our dedicated eye hospitals by our industry-renowned cataract surgeons and are available privately or through the NHS. Having carried out thousands of successful treatments, all our consultants are NHS trained and Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (ROC).

      We pride ourselves on our dedication to every patient, which is why our consultants are fully supported by specialised teams with years of expertise in the field, ensuring that you receive the best treatment possible as well as the highest level of care before, during and after your cataract surgery. Learn more about cataract surgery aftercare at Optegra.

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        Cataract FAQs

        If you are having private treatment in both eyes, we can usually treat both on the same day to reduce the inconvenience of you arranging two sets of hospital visits. If for any reason this is not an option, your consultant will explain and in this circumstance the wait is usually one week before having a procedure on the second eye. 

        If you are having treatment on the NHS treatment for both eyes on the NHS can usually take between 6-12 weeks.

        Cataract surgery typically takes between 8-20 minutes per eye, with no need to stay overnight following the procedure. Your sight will begin to return a few hours after the procedure, as you head off to recover in the comfort of your own home.

        After your cataract surgery, your vision will be blurry at first and you will be asked to wear a protective patch. Your sight should return a few hours after the operation and your vision should improve quickly over the next week or two, reaching its optimum at 4-6 weeks.

        The operation itself is pain free. You will be awake during the procedure; however, we will use a local anaesthetic to numb the eye and the area surrounding it. Afterwards, you may experience gritty eyes and mild discomfort, which is normal. This should disappear in just one or two days.

        Most NHS patients will continue to wear contact lenses or glasses after their cataract treatment. However, we offer refractive cataract surgery which uses advanced technology lenses that could correct long or short-sightedness. This surgery could help you eliminate or reduce your dependence on glasses at the same time as removing your cataract.

        It is normal to have grittiness, watering, blurred/double vision or a bloodshot eye following the procedure. Mild light sensitivity is also normal. These symptoms usually improve after a few days but it can take 4-6 weeks to fully recover.

        Though your eyes are open during the procedure, you won’t actually see the surgery happen. Many patients report seeing colours during their surgery and describe it as a pleasant experience.

        Most cataract patients can return to work after around three days. If you work in a dusty or smoky environment or your job involves heavy lifting or bending down, it is recommended to delay returning to work by two weeks.

        If you’ve been given an eye shield, keep it on until the next morning. If advised, ensure to re-tape the eye shield before sleeping for 7 nights. You should also wear sunglasses outside for the first week after surgery and wearing sunglasses outdoors is good practice.

        As cataract surgery is done quickly and only to a small area, patients are usually awake during the procedure. Anaesthetic makes the procedure painless but if you are very anxious you can request a mild sedative to help you relax.

        It is possible to undergo a cataract procedure if you have previously had laser eye surgery. Having had laser treatment can make it harder to calculate the required lens accuracy, but we take several steps to optimise the outcomes after laser eye surgery. It is now possible to get much closer to the highly accurate calculation results seen in people who have never had laser eye surgery. This assures you of the best chance of the excellent outcome you deserve.

        Over- the-counter pain relievers, such as paracetamol, may be taken during the first few days of recovery if necessary.

        No, once a cataract has been removed it cannot return to the same eye. The artificial lens which replaces your eye’s natural lens in surgery you with clear vision after the treatment.

        By Author: Amir Hamid

        Mr. Amir Hamid is our Medical Director for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.