On the day of surgery

For most people this procedure is a day procedure. Just before surgery you will be given eye drops to enlarge your pupil. A local anaesthetic will numb the area to be operated on. You will be under twilight anaesthesia during the procedure and you should not feel any pain. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening. You will not have to worry about keeping your eye open.

The skin around the eye will be cleaned with antiseptic and a sterile drape will be placed over the face. There will be plenty of oxygen and fresh air to breathe. The operation generally takes up to 15 minutes.

The operation is performed with the aid of an operating microscope. A small incision is made at the top or side of the eye. The eye is not taken out of its socket during the surgery. Instruments are used to fragment the cloudy lens. These fragments are then suctioned out of the eye. The back membrane of the lens (called the posterior capsule) is left in place. A plastic intraocular lens implant is placed inside the eye to replace the natural lens that is removed. The wound is then closed.