Cataract Surgery

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Prior to having your surgery, your surgeon will discuss your individual wait time for cataract surgery.

Once the surgery date is confirmed, you may be asked to have a complete history and physical done by your family doctor within four months of the date of the surgery. You will be contacted by the Health Centre’s Preoperative Assessment Clinic (POAC). If a visit is required, you will be seen by an anesthetist, a nurse and any other health care professionals you may need to assist you during and after the surgery.

Please refer to the Patient Guide Before Cataract Surgery – English or French. Should you have questions regarding any information on the instructions, call 204-788-8531.

After surgery you will be given specific printed postoperative information. Please refer to the Guidelines following Cataract Surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens which is caused by the aging process, blunt trauma or some systemic diseases. Some people experience blurry vision, haziness, double vision, difficulty with night driving and sensitivity to light.

How is it treated?

When the cataract interferes with normal daily activities, you can be referred to an ophthalmologist to have it removed surgically. During surgery, ultrasonic waves break down the lens material and the surgeon removes it through a very small incision. An intraocular lens (IOL) is then implanted to replace the natural lens.

There are several types of lenses on the market and your surgeon will discuss with you which type would best suit your eye condition and your lifestyle.

What is an intraocular lens (IOL)?

An intraocular lens is an artificial lens for the eye, also called an IOL, which replaces the eye’s natural lens during cataract surgery.

Why do I need a cataract surgery?

In a normal eye, light passes through the clear lens and is focussed on the back of the eye. In an eye with a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy or foggy and vision becomes distorted. When your day to day activity is affected by decreasing vision it may be time to have a cataract surgery. The only way to treat a cataract is by removing the lens.

How will an IOL affect my vision?

IOLs come in many different strengths just like prescription eye glasses or contact lenses. Your eye doctor will determine which lens is best for your eye.

What is an IOL made of?

Most IOLs are made of silicone, acrylic, or other plastic compositions. They are also coated with a special material to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

Are there any complications after having an IOL implanted?

The success rate is excellent. Complications are rare and most can be treated. Retinal detachment, infection, inflammation or elevated intraocular pressure may rarely occur.

Is it ever necessary to replace an IOL?

Your eye will normally tolerate an IOL very well. Only rarely would an IOL have to be replaced.

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