Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) is a world reference in cataract surgery.
Doctor Elena Barraquer (cataract specialist) received in 2018 the award of excellence from the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute. Doctor Elena Barraquer is one of the top five ophthalmologists in Spain according to Forbes magazine nº49.
Professor Rafael Barraquer (cataract specialist) has been appointed in 2017 President of EVER (European Association for Vision and Eye Research).
Cataract surgery is a quick and painless process with very high success rates.
Patients with high myopia or hyperopia can also have cataract surgery with refractive correction purposes.
Around 95% of the people that opt for cataract surgery with intraocular lenses have their eyesight completely restored. Cataract surgery is one of the safest interventions in the field of ophthalmology.
Barraquer Eye Hospital : your best option for cataract surgery.
FAQ about cataract surgery at Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain):
What techniques are currently used for cataract surgery?
Cataracts in the eyes is a condition which is produced in the crystalline lens, the part of the eye which allows it to focus on objects both near and far.
As well as blurred distance vision, cataracts can stop a person from recognizing people’s faces. Today, cataract surgery is a quick and painless, highly-effective, low-risk procedure. It is one of the safest and most common ophthalmological procedures carried out each year.
The cataract operation involves first of all, removing the content of the clouded lens using ultrasound or femtosecond laser technology. And secondly, replacing the crystalline lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) which is personalized for each patient. The procedure allows the recuperation of a normal or an even better vision than the person has had in a long time.
There are currently various types of intraocular lenses:
- Monofocal intraocular lenses which correct distance vision but with which the patient still needs glasses to see up-close.
- Multifocal intraocular lenses which can eliminate the dependence on glasses for both distance and up-close.
Depending on the results obtained from the preoperative tests, cataract specialists offer two alternatives for carrying out cataract surgery:
–Phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation (IOL)
The phacoemulsification technique involves the use of ultrasound to break up the cataract.
It is one of the safest and most precise surgical techniques of modern ophthalmology.
-Intralase Technology (femtosecond laser) with the implantion of an intraocular lens (IOL)
This is a laser-assisted technique that has been extensively developed at Barraquer Eye Hospital. Intralase technology achieves excellent results and it is also less aggressive for the eye. The femtosecond laser is applied for less than a minute and is a totally painless procedure.
Intralase technology (femtosecond laser) gives greater precision when making the cut. As well as that, the desired flap thickness can be programmed. Following this, the intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted.
Which patients turn to cataract surgery?
Many people think that cataracts have to be at an advanced stage before they can be removed. But the reality is that nowadays cataract surgery can be carried out when the patient and the doctor consider that their vision is affecting their quality of life.
Currently cataract surgery is being proposed to patients with presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness).
Barraquer does not work with the PresbyLASIK technique to correct presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness), as the results obtained from other clinics have not been satisfactory. It is also a temporary solution, as with time the patient usually finds him or herself at the starting point again.
The solution for presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) is to have cataract surgery with refractive correction purposes. The intraocular lenses (IOL) have been developed to correct cataracts and presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) at the same time.
Those who also go in for cataract surgery with refractive correction purposes are patients over 50 years old, with high myopia (short-sightedness) or hyperopia (long-sightedness) for whom LASIK surgery is contraindicated.
Having cataract surgery forestalls the aging of the crystalline lens which with time usually produces cataracts. Crystalline lens surgery with the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL) not only improves the vision of the patient but at the same time, allows them to dispense with their glasses or contact lenses to do many of their daily activities.
What are the benefits and risks involved in cataract surgery?
Currently cataract surgery and intraocular lenses (IOL) are the only alternative for removing cataracts. Around 95% of the people who choose to have cataract surgery with intraocular lenses experience a total recuperation of their vision in relation to their previous state.
Continuous innovations in techniques and instruments that are carried out at Barraquer Eye Hospital make the procedures safer than ever.
As in any surgery, the patient should also be aware of the risks, however small. Complications arising from cataract surgery are rare if the patient is in good health and does not suffer from any other serious eye disorder. As well as that, Barraquer Eye Hospital in Barcelona (Spain) has the advanced technology necessary to minimize the possible risks that could arise during the intervention.
Once the cataract has been removed it cannot appear again. However, after 2 to 4 months, some patients could complain that their vision has become blurred again due to the fact that the membrane that holds the new lens in place has become opaque. This condition is known as secondary cataract. Currently, secondary cataracts can be treated with a simple painless operation using laser.
Which surgical procedure is used for cataract surgery at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre?
Preparation for the surgery
Once the date for the intervention has been set, you must go the day before it to Barraquer Eye Hospital facilities to do a series of preoperative tests. These will help decide the exact method of treatment and the type of intraocular lens (IOL) that you want to have implanted.
How long does the cataract surgery last? Is it painful?
The majority of cataract interventions last between 15 and 30 minutes.
It is outpatient surgery without the need for hospitalization, which permits the patient to return home once they have been operated on.
Due to anaesthetic eye drops and relaxing medication, this intervention does not cause much discomfort. As well as that, the recovery time is very short.
Patients who go to Barraquer Eye Hospital for their cataract surgery do not usually complain of pain, some note an excessive watering of the eye and others have the sensation of dry eye. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication are administered after the intervention.
The immediate postoperative period
Immediately after the operation, you will probably feel a little groggy because of the local anaesthetic. The doctor will put a protective eye patch in place and he will recommend that you use glasses. After a brief period of time in observation, specialists at Barraquer Eye Hospital will tell you how to take care of your eye at home and will prescribe some medication. They will probably prescribe some kind of gentle treatment for dryness in the eye (eye drops) so that you will feel as comfortable as possible and your vision as good as possible.
The first days after the intervention
It is probable that the eye will be sensitive and will itch for a few days. The eye drops should be administered just as the doctor has indicated. It is important to avoid rubbing the eye and also to prevent anything from going into it as this could increase the possibility of infection.
Make-up should not be worn until the doctor permits it and you should avoid sleeping on the side of the body of the eye that has been operated on.
You should avoid strenuous efforts or activities that could increase eye pressure, which includes bending over or lifting heavy objects.
You will be able to resume normal activities within a few days and you will be able to drive and return to work within 2 to 5 days if you feel comfortable with your vision.
International patients should plan for a stay of 10 days in Barcelona (Spain) for postoperative tests. These visits and tests will be carried out at Barraquer Eye Hospital and are completely free.
Although cataract surgery is very quick, you vision will probably not be at its best immediately after the surgery. Many patients experience a great improvement in their vision just after the intervention, but their vision will not reach its optimum state until 2-4 months afterwards.
Monofocal or multifocal lens?
As each patient is unique, specialists at Barraquer Eye Hospital will help you to make the best decision for you.
Multifocal lenses offer less dependency on glasses and give a better quality of life. In general, patients who choose multifocal lenses instead of monofocal lenses have expressed greater satisfaction.
Many Barraquer patients ask if after the intervention they will need to keep on using glasses. If the doctor has implanted a monofocal intraocular lens it is probable that you will need glasses. The monofocal lens only has one focal point and it will help you to focus on distant objects. If the doctor has implanted a multifocal IOL, there is a strong probability that you won’t need glasses.
On the other hand, multifocal lenses have a higher cost. Therefore, the patient should take all the factors into consideration when making a decision.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
Cataract surgery cost depends on many factors.We would be delighted to answer your query. Please, fill in this form. If you have any medical reports or examination results from other centres, we would appreciate it if you could send these tests to us by email so we can offer you the solution that best suits your needs.
You can be sure that this information will always be treated with the maximum confidentiality.
I am a foreign patient. Will the medical personnel at Barraquer speak my language?
Qualified personnel are placed at your disposal and they will advise you in your language and accompany you during all the hospital process. In case the doctor does not speak your language, a personal interpreter can accompany you throughout all your visits.
Is there an alternative to surgery for removing cataracts?
Although cataract symptoms at an early stage can be treated in various ways, surgery is the only way to eliminate them.
Can cataracts and presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) be corrected at the same time?
Yes, they can. In recent years, multifocal IOL intraocular lenses have been developed to correct cataracts and presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) at the same time. In fact, Barraquer never recommends the PresbyLASIK technique to correct presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) because the results obtained from other clinics have not been satisfactory. It is also a temporary solution as, with time, the patient usually finds him or herself at the starting point again. The solution for presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness) is cataract surgery with refractive correction purposes.
Could I end up blind because of cataracts?
If the cataracts are not treated in time they can eventually cause blindness.
When is the best moment for me to have my cataracts operated on?
Many people think that cataracts have to be at an advanced stage before they can be removed. But that is not true. Nowadays, cataract surgery can be carried out when the patient and the doctor consider that their vision is affecting their quality of life.
Is general anaesthetic necessary for cataract surgery?
As it is not a very long intervention, it is not necessary to administer general anaesthetic. Instead, the surgeon will use topical/local anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye, which means that during the intervention, you would be awake.
Can both eyes be operated on for cataracts at the same time?
Both eyes are not operated on in the same cataract surgery. Normally two to four days go by before the second eye is operated on. For foreign patients who come to Barraquer, your doctor will try to organize the surgery within the same week so that the patient can return home as soon as possible.
If I have cataracts in both eyes, is it important not to let too much time pass between the operation on the first eye and on the second?
Yes. Although you may feel that your vision hasn’t completely adapted since the first intervention, it is important to keep in mind that vision depends on both eyes working together as soon as possible.
How long will the patient be in Barraquer Eye Hospital after cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery. Normally patients spend only a few hours in Barraquer Eye Hospital and can return home the same day.
How long will it take before I can see after cataract surgery?
Each patient and each eye is different. Many patients experience a great improvement in their vision just after the intervention, but their vision will not reach its optimum state until 2-4 months afterwards.
What is the lifespan of an intraocular lens (IOL)?
Intraocular lenses (IOL’s) are made from durable materials so they don’t usually get damaged and you can expect that they will last all your life.
Is there an alternative for young patients with cataracts?
When it comes to a young person suffering from cataracts, before taking a hasty decision, it is important to analyze the case thoroughly. In young patients, doctor will try to preserve the crystalline lens. It would all depend on the degree of the cataract and if the cataract is significantly reducing the vision. After analyzing the medical tests, specialists at Barraquer Eye Hospital will advise you and indicate which alternatives you have.
Can cataracts increase the likelihood of developing another eye condition?
On occasion cataracts cause other conditions such as myopia (short-sightedness) and hyperopia (long-sightedness). And on rare occasions, if they are not operated on in time, the cataract can end up becoming so big that it causes some kind of glaucoma.
Best cataract specialists at Barraquer Eye Hospital (Barcelona, Spain)
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