How long do I have to wait to get my cataract operation?

It's not possible to predict how long you are likely to have to wait for cataract surgery. It can depend on many different things including where you live and the urgency of your treatment. We suggest asking your consultant for an estimated wait time. Your consultant can be contacted via their medical secretary. Alternatively if your hospital has an ECLO service (Eye Care Liaison Officer) they may also be able to assist you with this information.

If the impact of cataracts on your vision is causing you difficulties with day to day activities, you should speak to your eye clinic/ECLO and let them know.

Coping with poor vision while waiting for surgery can be difficult, especially if both eyes are affected. Magnifiers, brighter light bulbs/increased lighting and colour contrasting can all help make things a little easier while you wait.

If you've been turned down for surgery or are struggling to get an appointment RNIB's Cataracts Toolkit has useful information including practical steps to help you access first or second eye cataract surgery.

If you live in England and are concerned about your wait time you can try contacting your Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) or Healthwatch.

If you live in Northern Ireland you can try the Patient Client Council (PCC) in Northern Ireland, similar to PALS in England.

If you live in Wales you can try the Community Health Council (CHC) who can raise concerns with NHS services in Wales. Wales also has a Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS).

If you live in Scotland you can try the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS).

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