Eye treatment FAQS

If you’re thinking about having eye surgery you’ll probably have lots of questions.

Whether you’d like to know about the risks, what happens before, during and after surgery, or how long you can expect your recovery to take – our experienced teams are always happy to talk you through any questions.

In the meantime here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:

Questions about us

1. How much experience do your surgeons have?

Our teams have performed thousands of successful procedures since we first opened in 1995. And because our surgeons specialise in specific areas, you can be sure you’ll be looked after by someone with excellent experience with your condition.

2. Can I choose my surgeon?

Because all of our surgeons are specialists in specific areas of eye care and surgery, your condition may dictate which surgeon you are seen by. However, for some procedures such as cataract surgery, where there is more than one specialist available, you may well be able to choose which surgeon you are treated by. Just ask us when you make an appointment.

3. How much does eye surgery cost?

Every procedure is different, but you can find out the exact cost of your type of eye surgery just by calling us on 0800 99 2020, or contacting us online. You can also find out more about costs, including how we may be able to help you spread the cost of surgery, on the finance page.

4. Will I have to go to the Central Auckland Eye Institute for my surgery?

Our central clinic is equipped with the very latest equipment and facilities, which is why you’ll need to go there for most procedures.

However, many of our smaller ‘satellite’ clinics are equipped to deal with minor procedures and treatments for quite a number of conditions, as well as consultations and follow-up appointments. Have a look at where your local Eye Institute clinic is on our locations page, or simply ask us when you make an appointment.

Questions about procedures & risks

1. How long does eye surgery take?

Every procedure is different, but thanks to the highly advanced technology and techniques we have available nearly all treatments are now ‘day stay’ procedures. For more information about specific eye procedures, take a look at the treatments page.

2. What are the risks of eye surgery?

With all surgical procedures, there is a possibility of complications. However, complications from eye surgery that could threaten your vision are extremely rare. Your surgeon will thoroughly explain all of the potential risks to you at the outset.

Generally, the most serious risk associated with eye surgery is infection, and this risk can be reduced substantially by following the advice of your surgeon after surgery. For example, it’s really important to use any eye drops or medication you are given after surgery. You may also be advised to avoid swimming and exposure to potentially contaminated water such as hot tubs for a few weeks.

3. How should I prepare before surgery?

The majority of procedures we do are done under local anaesthetic. That means no special preparation (such as not eating beforehand) is usually required. However, your surgeon and their team will advise you at your consultation appointment if any special preparations are necessary.

4. Can my family or friend accompany me?

You are welcome to bring a family member or friend with you when you come for surgery, and any other appointments as well. During surgery, they can wait for you in one of our comfortable reception areas. Or they can stay really close to you throughout the surgery by viewing through an observation window, or on an observation screen.

5. What if I’m too nervous to go through with it?

It’s natural to be nervous before undergoing any medical procedure. That’s why our caring, friendly and really experienced team is always on hand. Part of their job is to know how to make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable before, during and after your surgery. They are highly trained and will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns. They are capable of making even the most nervous patient feel completely at ease.

6. Will there be any pain?

You shouldn’t feel any pain at all during eye surgery. The vast majority of procedures are now carried out under local anaesthetic, so you will be awake, but your eye will be ‘numb’ to any pain. You may experience some slight discomfort, but your surgeon will clearly explain to you exactly what to expect beforehand. You may also have the option of taking a mild sedative to help if you wish.

7. Will I be sedated for surgery? What kind of anaesthesia is used?

For the majority of procedures, a local anaesthetic is used, so you will be awake during your eye surgery, but you should feel no pain. A trained and experienced anaesthetist will administer your anaesthetic – usually by a local anaesthetic injection, or topical anaesthetic cream or gel.

For some procedures where it’s likely you will experience some discomfort, you may also have the option of taking a mild sedative. Your surgeon will explain all of the options to you before your surgery.

Questions about what it’s like after eye surgery & recovery

1. How long will my recovery take?

Because every procedure is different, and so is every patient, recovery times vary. However, thanks to the highly advanced technology and techniques we use most procedures now have vastly improved recovery times.

For example, the majority of patients can return home within just one hour of cataract surgery, and usually enjoy normal vision again within a couple of days. For more information about specific eye recovery times, see the appropriate eye surgery on the treatments page.

2. How long does the whole process take? Are there any follow-up visits?

This depends on the procedure. However, the majority of procedures performed by us are now ‘day stay’. That means in most cases you will be able to return home on the day of your operation.

For some procedures, one or more follow-up visits are required to make sure the surgery has been successful, and check that your eye is healing well. For more information about whether follow-up visits are required for specific procedures, see the appropriate eye surgery under the treatments page.

3. What precautions should I take after surgery?

After eye surgery, it’s important to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible. That usually means avoiding swimming, and exposure to potentially contaminated water such as hot tubs. For how long depends on your surgery and expected recovery time, but two weeks is generally advised.

Some procedures, such as those involving retinal surgery, will require you to avoid any strenuous activity for the first few days. And after a vitrectomy, you may be advised to keep your head in a certain position to help healing. However, after most procedures, including a cataract operation, you’ll be able to return to normal, non-strenuous activities almost straight away.

It’s also very important to follow any specific instructions your surgeon gives you, such as using any eye drops or medication you are given, or wearing an eye patch to protect your eye. For more information about after-care for specific procedures, have a look at the appropriate eye surgery under the treatments page, or just give us a call.

4. Will I still need glasses after cataract surgery?

We offer a range of different intraocular lenses (IOLs) that can be fitted during your cataract operation. These IOLs can help correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism. It may even be possible to improve your eyesight to such an extent that you no longer need to rely on glasses. For more information, see the cataract treatment page, or contact us today.


Make an appointment

Request an appointment online, phone us on 0800 99 2020 or email us at enquiries@eyeinstitute.co.nz

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