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Withington Cataract Centre


If your cataract can be operated on under local anaesthetic you will be treated at Withington Community Hospital. (For a map of where the service is please click here).

The Cataract Centre is situated on the first floor of Withington Community Hospital and is a mixed sex unit attending to both male and female patients. This means that there may be patients of the opposite sex to yourself in the department at the same time. If you feel strongly that you would like to be treated in a single sex environment, please phone us 0161 217 3008 Monday - Friday 7.30 am - 4.30 pm to discuss the options available.


Before your operation

You should eat and drink as normal and take all prescribed medication as normal unless you have been advised differently. It is advisable that you wash your hands and face with a bactericidal soap for 3 - 4 weeks prior to your operation to reduce the risk of infection.

We recommend that you wash your hair and take a bath/shower the evening before surgery. Please pay particular attention to ensure that your face and finger nails are clean on the day of surgery. Eye make up if worn should be removed the day before your operation and definitely must not be worn on the day of surgery. Please ensure that clean clothes are worn on the day of surgery and that your footwear is also clean. Please bring with you on the day of surgery a pair of new or freshly washed house slippers. We recommend that you wear a front opening shirt, blouse or dress for your comfort and convenience.

This advice is not meant to offend you. It is essential that attention is paid to strict personal hygiene in order to prevent and to help reduce the risk of infection on your behalf.

In order to reduce the risk of infection further please

Do Not bring reusable handkerchiefs. Disposable tissues only are advised and these will be provided.

In order to reduce the risk of your operation being cancelled due to a condition called blepharitis, which is a chronic inflammation affecting the edges of the eyelids leading to a build up of deposits on the skin and the eyelash margins, we would like you to perform the following lid hygiene for 4 weeks prior to your operation.

How to clean your eyelids using shampoo solution

• Wash your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning your eyelids.

• Mix one teaspoonful of mild baby shampoo (any brand) into a mug full of warm tap water.

• Use a clean face cloth and dip in the solution. Put the cloth over your finger and gently scrub the edges of your eyelids and between your eyelashes to remove any crusting or scaly deposits.

• You must be careful not to touch your eye.

• Rinse your eyelids thoroughly after cleaning using warm tap water on a clean face cloth.

Two to five days before surgery a clerical officer/Nurse will telephone you to confirm that you are able to attend as planned.


On the day of surgery

On your arrival:

You will be greeted by a member staff who will check your name, date of birth, address and general practitioner (GP) details. You will then be directed to the day surgery room.

A friend or relative is welcome to wait with you during your stay in the unit but, as waiting space is limited, they may be asked to wait in an alternative area.

A Nurse will identify himself or herself to you as your named Nurse and he/she will be responsible for your care during your stay in the unit.


Your operation:

The operation is performed in the operating theatre and takes up to 30 minutes. During the operation, the cataract is removed and replaced by an artificial lens (implant). Most patients having their cataract removed have the operation under local anaesthetic, using eye drops only or eye drops and an injection in the skin around the eye

Immediately after the operation your eye may look red. This is due to the local anaesthetic given at the start of the operation and the antibiotic injection given at the end of the operation. This redness is normal and settles down over 4 weeks. Most patients experience little or no pain following the operation, except for a mild gritty sensation, which may occur, but this usually settles within 4-6 weeks.


Following your operation:

You will be given an information leaflet instructing you on the 'dos and don'ts' following your operation. It is advisable that you continue to use a bactericidal soap for 3-4 weeks after your operation to wash your hands and face.

General Information

• On the day of surgery, you will be given an appointment for your postoperative review.This will usually be 4 weeks after surgery but occasionally you may need to return to the hospital earlier and on more than one occasion. You will be advised of this prior to your discharge.

• Paracetamol or your usual painkillers will relieve any mild discomfort during the first 24 hours after surgery. If your eye becomes very red and painful or your sight worsens after the operation, you must contact the hospital immediately. The numbers are given in the information leaflet that you will receive following surgery.

• Your sight should improve almost immediately. About 4-8 weeks after your operation, your eyes will be tested for new glasses. Reading glasses or bifocals are usually needed.

• Talk to your ophthalmologist about returning to work and driving following your operation.


Information Leaflets:

Cataract Information


Additional information for patients undergoing Eye Surgery who are on Anti Coagulant Treatment

Patient information following cataract surgery.