How much does cataract surgery cost?

Interview transcription:

In this interview, Alex Shortt explains the costs of cataract surgery and why different providers charge different prices

Interviewer: If I wanted to go private for my cataract surgery, how much would it cost?

Alex Shortt: Assuming you have no medical insurance and you are going to self-fund, the average price of a straightforward cataract operation with a single focus lens is in the region of £2,500-3,000. But if we’re looking at doing combined cataract surgery with sight correction using a complex advanced multifocal lens implant, then the costs are more, and it’s in the region of £3,500-4,000 per eye with some providers charging up to £5,000 per eye.

Good advice for patients is to fully inform themselves and to do their research, watch videos like this and read about multifocal lens implants.

It is also important to learn a little bit about your prescription and to think through what it is they’re hoping to achieve. That certainly would help in terms of approaching different people in the market and asking them, “This is my situation, how much do you think it would be?”

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Follow up:

Interviewer: What is it that influences different providers to charge different prices?

Alex Shortt: There’s very much a market, and there are effectively like high street chains who do very large volumes of surgery. The reason they can maybe charge a bit less is that they do a lot of surgery. But then the experience in terms of the care and the direct contact with your consultant is definitely less with these high street providers, and you certainly wouldn’t have direct access 24/7 to your consultant. There absolutely will be an appropriate level of care, but you’re not going to be able to just pick up your phone and ring your consultant.

If you’re looking to have your consultant available to you 24/7 to answer any questions, certainly then that’s something that obviously the consultant will be doing less surgery, and probably the charge per procedure will be more.

Interviewer: So It really comes down to the level of service that the patient can expect, the level of access?

Alex Shortt: Yes, absolutely.

Interviewer: It can be a really great thing if you’re waking up in the middle of the night very concerned about how something might be going and be able to call. You’ll answer a call like that?

Alex Shortt: Absolutely. Our system is set up so that you have the choice of if it’s an administrative issue, you can go through to my PA. But if it’s an emergency and you feel it’s necessary to speak to me directly, then there’s an option to just connect directly.

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About the author

Mr Alex J. Shortt | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB BCh MSc PhD FRCOphth PGDipCatRef

I’m Alex Shortt, a highly trained academic researcher and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based in London’s famous Harley Street medical district. I trained and worked as a consultant for 14 years at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. I specialise in advanced technologies for correcting vision, including cataract surgery, implantable contact lenses and laser vision correction.

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