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
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
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
How to clean your eyelids using shampoo
• Wash your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning your
• 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
• 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
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.
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.
• 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
• 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.
Additional information for patients undergoing Eye Surgery who are
on Anti Coagulant Treatment
information following cataract surgery.