Mr Venki Sundaram
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MD FRCOphth MRCOphth BMBCh BSc Harpenden / Cobham Clinic: 01582 714451 Bushey: 0208 901 5561

How to Overcome the Fear of Cataract Surgery

Elderly man sat in a cafe with a coffee

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, with an excellent success rate, safety record and a number of positive benefits to those suffering with a cataract.

However, naturally, patients can still be very fearful, stressed and worried prior to having the surgery. Follow our advice on overcoming the fear surrounding cataract surgery…

Consider the statistics

Approximately 330,000 cataract surgery procedures are performed in the UK every year, with an excellent success rate. The procedure is extremely safe, with very low risk rates. So, bear this in mind to help ease your fear surrounding your upcoming surgery.

Learn more about the procedure

Learn as much as you can about cataract surgery. Your fear about your surgery may be based on the fear of the unknown, so finding out exactly what will happen may help to eliminate this fear. Keep in mind that the procedure itself will only take around 20 minutes and try to put this into perspective.

Speak to your surgeon

Speak to your ophthalmic surgeon in order to fully benefit from their knowledge, expertise and experience in performing cataract surgery. Your surgeon will know the procedure inside-out and be able to answer any questions you may have if you require further clarification or if you’re worried about any particular aspect of your surgery.

Here are some questions that you may choose to ask your surgeon to help put your mind at ease:

  • Can you talk me through the procedure?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • Will anaesthetic be available?
  • Does it hurt?
  • What aftercare is available?
  • How long is the recovery after surgery?
  • When will I see the benefits of the surgery?

Mr Venki Sundaram will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about your surgery.

Focus on the end-result

Putting too much emphasis on the procedure itself may only heighten any existing fear and stress about your surgery. Whilst initially it’s important to find out about the surgery, it is then best to focus on the end result and the variety of positive impacts that cataract surgery will have on your everyday life. Imagine these positive results and how different your life will be after the surgery is complete.

Read about other patients’ experiences

Take a look at case studies, testimonials and reviews from other patients who have previously had cataract surgery. Read up about their positive experiences and their end-result after they have fully recovered from the surgery.

Keep distracted

If on the lead up to your surgery your nerves are starting to build, keep busy and distracted. Plan entertaining activities to do with your friends and family so that you’re not focusing too much on your upcoming surgery.

Choose relaxing activities prior to surgery

Prior to your cataract surgery, plan some relaxing activities to keep your fear at bay. Activities such as going to the spa or getting a massage treatment and going on a long walk will encourage you to be in a more relaxed state, as well as distracting you from overthinking about your surgery.

Plan something you can look forward to

Get something planned in the diary so that you have something to look forward to after you have recovered from your surgery. Whether it’s a family meal or a game of golf that appeals to you more, try to focus your attention on this, rather than on your surgery.

If this plan involves a celebratory trip away, make sure you follow our do’s and don’ts of travelling after eye surgery and don’t miss your check up with your ophthalmologist.

Speak to friends and family

It is highly likely that a friend or family member will have undergone cataract surgery. If this is the case, take advantage of this and ask them about their experience. Hearing about a positive experience from someone you’re close to is sure to put your mind at ease.

Ask for extra support

If you’re particularly anxious about your surgery, speak to your ophthalmic surgeon about your worries and concerns and they will be sure to make your experience and comfortable as possible.

It may also be a good idea to ask a close friend or family member to attend your appointments with you for extra support. Having someone there with you on the day of your procedure will help to keep you distracted in the waiting room and it may be calming knowing that you have a friendly face to greet you after your surgery. Remember, you won’t be allowed to drive home after your surgery either.

Take herbal supplements

Consider taking herbal supplements to help calm your nerves and stress levels. Make sure you consult your doctor or ophthalmologist before taking these as they may have an effect on any current medications and the anaesthetic given before your surgery.

Get in touch…

If you have any further questions about your upcoming cataract surgery, contact us today. Mr Venki Sundaram will be happy to reassure you and answer any questions you may have. Additionally, take a look at our cataract surgery leaflet for more information.