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Common Questions and Answers

Q1: How long does my procedure take?

  • Cataract – An average of 15 minutes per eye
  • ICL- An average of 30 minutes for both eyes
  • Ferrara Rings- An average of 15 minutes per eye
  • Laser – An average of 15 minutes per eye
  • Crosslinking- Approximately 45 minutes for one/ both eyes.
  • Corneal transplant – Approximately a 1 – 2 hour procedure

Q2: Is the procedure performed under general or local anesthetic?

  • Cataract- Local anesthetic with intra venous conscious sedation. General anesthetic can be administered if requested by the patient.
  • ICL- General Anesthetic
  • Laser- Topical Anesthetic drops to the eye
  • Ferrara Rings -Topical Anesthetic drops to the eye
  • Cross linking – Topical anesthetic drops to the eye
  • Corneal Transplant – The laser component is performed under local anesthetic, however the actual transplant is carried out under GA.                                           

Q3: When can I expect functional vision?

  • Cataract- Once the pupil dilation has worn of usually by day 2 or 3.
  • ICL-Once the pupil dilation has worn off usually by day 2 or 3.
  • Laser- For patients who have iLASIK with iDesign they usually have functional vision after 3 hours of having the procedure. Patients who have had surface laser treatment take approximately 5 days.
  • Ferrara rings – This is variable and can take upto 3 months as Ferrara rings aim to stabilize keratoconus and allow for better contact lens fit.
  • Cross linking – Epithelium off cross linking is more effective however recovery is slower. It takes approximately 4-5 days for functional vision to return. With regards to epithelium on procedure, vision is not affected but the process is less efficient and may have to be repeated.
  • Corneal Transplant – within the first month most patients have variable vision. Full visual rehabilitation occurs within 8 – 9 months. However best vision will be achieved following laser correction or the aid of spectacles or contact lenses.

Q4: When can I play sports/ gym or wear eye make up after having laser surgery?

At least one week of no sport/ eye make up as part of the infection prevention programme. Normal activities can commence a week after surgery however for contact sports patients should wait at least 3 weeks.

Q5: When can I fly after surgery?

  • Cataract – There is no restriction with flying as there is no gas bubble in the eye like with retinal surgery. Post op cataract surgery patients will be sensitive to air conditioning and may require lubrication.
  • Laser – Patients can travel in an aircraft safely as soon as the risk of infection has passed which is approximately 2 – 3 days after surgery.
  • Corneal transplant – Patients can most likely travel a week post op.

Q6: How soon after my consultation can I have surgery?

As most surgical cases are elective i.e. not an emergency, patients can book their procedure at their convenience.

Q7: When can I drive?

  • Cataract – Patients will most likely be able to drive after having their vision checked at their first post op visit.
  • iLASIK and ICL – Patients will most likely be able to drive after having their vision checked at their first post op visit.
  • Crosslinking and PRK – Patients can drive 4 – 5 days post op once the cornea has fully re –epitheliazed. Dr Deist will advise.
  • Corneal Transplant – As soon as the operated eye is comfortable and the un-operated eye has good functional vision patients may drive. This usually takes approximately 1 week.

Q8: Do I need to remove my contact lenses before the consultation and treatment?

  • Refractive surgery- can be performed on patients between 21 to 60 years of age. Younger patients are required to have refraction stability for at least 18 to 24 months. Patients between the ages of 55 – 60 and have no evidence of cataracts and use spectacles for reading can consider having refractive lens exchange with a multifocal lens.
  • ICL – Patients between the ages of 18 and 49 are suitable candidates.
  • Crosslinking – Patients with early progressive keratoconus between the ages of 10 to 40 could possibly be suitable candidates.
  • Ferrara Rings – Patients who have severe progressive keratoconus between the ages of 16 – 40 years are suitable candidates.

Q9: What is the age limit for surgery?

  • Refractive surgery- can be performed on patients between 21 to 60 years of age. Younger patients are required to have refraction stability for at least 18 to 24 months. Patients between the ages of 55 – 60 and have no evidence of cataracts and use spectacles for reading can consider having refractive lens exchange with a multifocal lens. 
  • ICL – Patients between the ages of 18 and 49 are suitable candidates.
  • Crosslinking – Patients with early progressive keratoconus between the ages of 10 to 40 could possibly be suitable candidates.
  • Ferrara Rings – Patients who have severe progressive keratoconus between the ages of 16 – 40 years are suitable candidates

Q10: Are both eyes treated at once?

  • Cataract- Both eyes are generally not done together. There is mounting evidence showing that it is safe to perform bilateral cataract surgery but Dr Deist will only do bilateral cataract surgery for economic purposes and travel reasons.
  • Laser–Yes, bilateral simultaneous surgery is the norm.
  • ICL – Yes, bilateral simultaneous surgery is the norm.
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