The Cost of Cataract Surgery
WHAT DOES THE OPERATION COST AND WHY GO ‘PRIVATE’?
The NHS provides excellent cataract surgery totally free - why, then ‘go private’? There are three major reasons.
Private treatment offers more convenience as well as personal choice of surgeon. Not all surgery goes according to plan and when the unexpected happens it helps to have a very experienced surgeon.
Another advantage of private treatment is that financial restraints do not apply in the same way as in the NHS. An example of this is that I can use a range of intraocular lens implants (such as ‘blue blockers’ which protect the eye from short wave length blue light thought to be damaging to the retina, or multifocal lenses which have the ability to give the patient distant and near vision without glasses) which are not routinely available on the NHS.
The cost of the operation depends on in which Hospital the operation is done, whether it is done under local or general anaesthetic, and how long you are in hospital. Furthermore, there is now a wide array of different types of insurance policies, which may cover all or only part of the expense. It is important to confirm the extent of your cover with your insurance company before surgery. Many of my patients are not insured, and pay their own expenses, and in this situation the Hospitals I use offer a ‘package deal’ to cover all costs. Please do not hesitate to contact my Practice Manager who will give you up-to-date costings.
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HOW SUCCESSFUL IS CATARACT SURGERY?
Cataract surgery is one of the few operations that can 'put back the clock'. Modern cataract surgery is an extremely safe and successful procedure, and is the most common operation performed in the Western World. About 250,000 operations are performed each year in Britain, and about two million a year in the USA. I perform about 500 - 600 per year myself. Obviously, no operation can be guaranteed to be successful, but, fortunately, serious complications are extremely uncommon. Statistically there is a risk of losing some vision in about 1 in 500 cases, and this is more common in patients with pre-existing, or unusual, complex eye problems. Complete blindness in the eye is, fortunately,
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