When the clear natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy

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Cataracts explained

We can eliminate cataracts in two ways. In standard cataract surgery, we simply remove the cataract. With refractive cataract surgery, we can remove your need for glasses too. In these toggles you will find everything you need to know about cataracts

Cataracts are a very common condition that occurs when the clear natural lens of the eye becomes less clear.

30% of people over the age of 65 have a cataract significant enough to impact on their vision.

Cataract symptoms can be highly variable.

Many patients do not realise they have a cataract until it is picked up by their optician.

Symptoms can include:

  • Glare – starburst effect around headlights particularly at night
  • Haloes – circles around headlights
  • Dullness to colours
  • Reduced level of vision

The single biggest cause of cataracts is age.

The majority of the population will be diagnosed with a cataract at some point in their life.

Additional factors that can cause early onset of cataracts include:

  • Sunlight exposure
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Trauma

We can diagnose cataracts with a detailed eye examination. We use eye drops to dilate your eyes and then use an instrument similar to a microscope to look at them closely.

Cataract surgery is the only intervention that can remove a cataract.

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed elective surgical procedure with over 400,000 procedures undertaken in the UK annually.

Cataract surgery works by removing the old lens and putting a new clear plastic lens in its place. The procedure itself takes less than 20 minutes.

You will be in the clinic for a couple of hours in total as we need to prepare you and make sure you’re comfortable after surgery.

Your vision will be permanently improved after cataract surgery.

Furthermore, with refractive cataract surgery, we can also remove your need for glasses and contact lenses in the same operation.

Does cataract surgery hurt?

No. We use very strong drops and medications to ensure the eye is free from pain.

What if I blink during the operation?

You will not be able to blink as we use a small piece of equipment to keep the eyelids open.

Am I awake during the surgery?

Yes, but we often give a very light sedation to keep you calm and relaxed.

How long will the new lens last?

It will last for life. Sometimes it is necessary to laser polish the lens after surgery. This is called YAG – capsulotomy.

Can the cataract come back?

No. Once it has been removed, that is it.

What is the recovery time?

You can resume most activities after a day or two, and you are home on the same day of surgery. We will give you detailed advice on this before surgery.

When can I drive?

If your other eye meets the minimum standard for driving, then you can drive whenever you are comfortable.

When will I notice a difference in vision?

Typically the next day – although this can vary as the harder the cataract, the longer the recovery time.

Will a surgeon in training be doing my surgery?

No. As a private patient, your operation will be undertaken by a fully trained surgeon.

How does it work? It’s simple

We know most of our patients wish they had refractive cataract surgery sooner. What holds them back? Time!

Everyone says “I’ll get to it, but honestly, how many things do we let get in the way of what we want? The first step is simply to call and request a consultation by phoning the number below.

Attend the consultation at the date and time that fits your busy lifestyle. After hours? No problem. We’ll make it work.

Recover your time. Glasses and contact lenses waste valuable time, and cannot directly treat or cure cataracts. Restore your vision, and free yourself up to enjoy hobbies and people you love.


Our patients make more time for life

They benefited from our experience and expertise and no longer miss out on the life they want most


The procedure was so quick and the people performing it – in particular the surgeon, put me at ease – I wasn’t at all apprehensive. The next day my vision was perfect and I have had better than 20|20 vision ever since. I would recommend this to anyone, best thing I ever did.

Claire Watson


On the day of the surgery Dr Patel was excellent, he explained everything clearly. I would not hesitate to recommend!

Raj Billen


I had LASIK eye surgery with Dr Manek Patel and am extremely happy with the result. I only wish that I had had it done sooner. The surgery was unbelievably quick and painless and the recovery also very quick. I now have better than 20/20 vision.

Sarah Clifton


Hi, I had Lasek eye surgery 3 weeks ago. Dr Manek did the procedure, he put me at ease and chatted throughout the surgery to keep my mind off the surgery. My vision is perfect now! I’m really happy I went through with the surgery, I would recommend it to anyone thinking about getting it done!

Louise Hyland


I had my LASIK wavefront intralase surgery on the sat 9th March and my surgeon was Mr Manek Patel.(the best). I’m a person who is scared of everything but decided to go for the op. I was -3.00 in both eyes and I now have better than 20/20 vision and so happy! I’m just so happy I can see. Thank you!

Mustafa Nurten


Great results. Achieved 20/20 vision. Should have done long ago!



Had my LASEK with Manek Patel 1 month ago. Totally put me at ease considering this was an enhancement. 1 month on and I have 20/20 vision.

Imran Rulia
We’ve changed over 50,000 lives. Read their stories


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Learn more about refractive cataract surgery

Educate yourself further by reading the links below

A guide on lens replacement surgery, as well as laser eye surgery. Click here for more information.

A guide that provides some information on intraocular lens implants. Click here for more information.

The recovery time for cataract surgery or lens replacement. Click here for more information

About the experts

With a combined 55 years of knowledge and experience, Romil and Manek Patel are a formidable force in eye surgery

Mr Manek Patel


Highly respected by his peers and with many years of experience, Manek Patel specialises in LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery and has given almost 50,000 people freedom from glasses and contact lenses throughout the course of his career.

Learn more

Mr Romil Patel


Romil is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital London, a leading international eye hospital that provides access to state-of-the-art equipment, expertise and knowledge to solve the most complex patient cases. To compliment his private sector refractive surgery work, Romil also operates in the NHS domain as a cataract surgeon.

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