The cystalline lens is a transparent tissue that focuses light onto the retina.  As we age, the lens becomes hazy and loses its transparency, becoming a cataract. If left untreated, the cataract will gradually get worse, and eventually led to blindness. 
At oDocs Eye Care, our Dunedin ophthalmolgists & eye surgeons offer a wide range of visual options when it comes to cataract extraction.  The intraocular lens (IOL) technology is capable of restoring sight, and even get rid of the need for spectacles in suitable cases.
Cost of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery typically cost between NZD 4200 and NZD 6000 per eye.  The price is dependent on the complexity of the case, the choice of IOL, and the type of anaesthetic (local or general anaesthetic).
Your Cataract Surgery Journey at Manaaki by Mercy 
The different types of intraocular lenses (IOL) 
There are a few hundred different brands of IOLs.  In general, there are 3 types of IOL.  Monofocal, Extended depth of field (EDOF), and Multifocal lenses.  Monofocal lenses are designed to focus only on one distance.  Extended depth of field lenses are designed for distance and intermediate vision.  Multifocal lenses are design for distance, intermediate, and near vision. The cost of the IOL varies from $200 to $2000 each lens. 
What is the recovery time?
Cataract surgery is a day procedure.  That means you do not have to stay in the hospital for anything longer than a few hours.  The discomfort will resolve within 2-3 days.  Your sight will be foggy in the first few days, it may take 10 - 14 days to clear up.  
Do I still glasses after the surgery?
It depends on your choice of intraocular lens (IOL).  There are some premium lenses that enables you to see things at various distances (far, intermediate, and near).  However, they may not always be the right choice.  Speak to your surgeon about your expectations. 
Do I need medications after the surgery?
Yes, you will be given a prescription for some anti-inflammatory eye drops.  You will have to use them 4 times a day for two weeks, then 2 times a day for the final 2 weeks. 
Can I drive immediately after the surgery?
We strongly advice you to hold off driving for the first week.  Sometimes, you may have to be prepared not to drive for up to a month.  However, the vast majority of people are able to get back to their routine within the first 2 weeks after surgery.
Are there any risks and complications with cataract surgery?
Just like any other surgeries, there are risks.  The risks with cataract surgeries are generally less than 1%.  Sight threatening complications such as infection (endophthalmitis), and sympathetic ophthalmic are very rare (less than 1: 1000).  More common but treatable problems include dry eyes, persistent inflammation, swelling of the macula (cystoid macular oedema), and posterior capsular opacification.  
I cannot afford this surgery, what are my options?
You may not have to pay for this surgery in full price if you have health insurance.  Check with your health insurance provider, employer, and union.  If you do not have health insurance, you can request your care be transferred to the nearest public hospital.  For the Otago region, the Dunedin Public Hospital will be your centre of care.  For the Southland region, Kew Hospital (Invercargill) will be your centre of care. 
Are there anything I cannot do after the surgery?
Avoid strenous activities in the first week.  Avoid hot tub and swimming in the first week.  Do not rub your eyes.  You can shower, just do not deliberately run water into your eyes.  Avoid working in the dust, or do gardening. 
Where is the surgery taking place?
All intraocular surgeries are conducted in clean certified theatre environment at Manaaki day surgery unit (by Mercy) in Dunedin.