Cataract / Refractive Lens


Cataract / Refractive Lens


What are cataracts?

At birth, a properly developed eye contains a clear lens inside, situated just behind the coloured iris. The purpose of this lens is to control the focus of light entering the eye in such a way that it can fall onto the retina at the back of the eye and form a clear image. A cataract occurs when the lens inside the eye loses its transparency and develops opacities; for the vast majority of those with cataracts, this is a natural and expected occurrence with age. Almost everyone who reaches the end of their natural life expectancy will have developed some degree of cataract.

Cataracts may also be caused by other factors such as eye trauma, infection, certain systemic diseases, the use of some medications, and inherited or developmental abnormalities.

Because vision relies on the clear transmission of light through the structures at the front of the eye, any cloudiness or opacity of the lens along this route can degrade the quality of the image, resulting in blurry or hazy vision.

Cataracts are considered a benign condition. Though your sight may be affected from the cataract, the cataract itself will not cause permanent loss of vision – once you undergo successful surgery and removal of these lens opacities, your sight is expected to be restored to the level of clarity you once experienced years ago, prior to the development of the cataract. Cataract surgery is, in Melbourne and throughout the Western world, the most common surgical procedure performed.

What are the symptoms of cataract?

In the early stages of cataract development, very few people realise that any changes are occurring in the eye. Cataracts are not painful or physically irritating and you cannot typically see them by looking into a mirror.

If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may be developing cataract:

When is it time to have cataract surgery?

Melbourne is fortunate to have access to many dedicated cataract surgeons. At Eye Laser Specialists we employ the latest innovations in cataract surgery technology to provide you with high quality expert care before, during and after your procedure.

In consultation with your eye care professional, the best person to decide when you’re ready to have cataract surgery is you. Consider what you use your vision for and whether your current vision is satisfactory for your work and hobbies. VicRoads also stipulates specific visual requirements to maintain a driving licence in Melbourne, so cataract surgery is indicated for those who fall outside of these requirements.

Am I suitable for cataract surgery?

Though the great majority of patients with cataract are suitable to have it removed, other factors must be taken into consideration before entering the surgical theatre. A consultation with the experienced clinicians at Eye Laser Specialists can determine if treatment at our Eye Spa for pre-existing dry eye is recommended prior to undergoing surgery, or whether your vision is not likely to be significantly improved with cataract extraction, such as in the case of other visually significant eye diseases.

Book your initial assessment at Eye Laser Specialists now on 1300 297 583

What happens once I’ve decided to have surgery?

An important part of the pre-operation consultation with your ophthalmologist is choosing the lens implant. Technology has advanced to the point to allow us to offer lens implants that can correct for distance, intermediate and near vision with the use of multifocal (MF) and extended depth of focus (EDoF) intraocular lenses, reducing your dependency on glasses and contact lenses after surgery. We will also discuss with you any risks or complications you should be aware of prior to surgery.

What does cataract surgery cost in Melbourne?

The total cost of cataract surgery for our Melbourne practice includes hospital admission, the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist and cost of the chosen lens implant. After your initial assessment with our clinicians, a comprehensive quote can be provided.

Costs of cataract surgery throughout Melbourne and Australia can be reduced with an appropriate level of private health insurance.

Book your initial assessment at Eye Laser Specialists now on 03 8372 0187.

How is refractive lens exchange different from cataract surgery?

Refractive lens exchange is exactly the same as a cataract extraction procedure except it is performed prior to a cataract developing. It is an excellent option for those over 50 years old who are not suitable for corneal refractive procedures such as LASIK or SMILE® but wish to be spectacle and contact lens free. An acrylic lens replaces the natural lens of the eye and can be arranged such as to provide generous vision at all distances without glasses.

If you simply want to be glasses-free or if you think it’s time for cataract surgery, call our Melbourne rooms now on 03 8372 0187 to book an initial appointment with our dedicated clinicians.

About Eye Laser Specialists

Our experts bring a combined 40 years of eye surgery experience to Melbourne

Dr Anton van Heerden, MBCHB; FRANZCO
Ophthalmologist & Laser Eye Surgeon

Based in Melbourne, but with a reputation that transcends borders, Dr Van Heerden sets the highest bar for laser vision correction surgery in Australia. While his skills and experience are second to none, it is his fun, caring and down to earth nature that truly set’s him apart from the rest. You can sit back and enjoy the journey knowing every detail has been carefully considered.


Dr Edward Roufail, PHD, FRANZCO
Ophthalmologist & Laser Eye Surgeon

As an experienced eye surgeon, Dr Edward Roufail has expertise in performing corneal refractive procedures, including SMILE, LASIK, PRK and Presbyond. He’s passionate about improving his patients’ eyesight through laser vision correction. Edward has performed thousands of cataract, retinal and macular surgeries and routinely, performs over 500 intraocular surgeries a year, including MFIOL and ICL. He is passionate about using the latest technology to deliver the best outcomes for patients.