How long will I have to wait for surgery after my initial consultation?
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidelines recommend a 7-day cooling off period between your consultation date and the date of surgery. This is to allow you time to reflect upon the information you have been given about the risks and the benefits of surgery. In the event of an emergency or exceptional circumstances this period can be shortened, however in general Mr Shortt’s operating lists are one full month in advance.
How long will my procedure take?
Overall the time spent in hospital for an eye procedure is a maximum of 2 hours. The procedure itself takes 10 minutes for laser eye surgery or 20 minutes for cataract / lens exchange surgery. The remainder of the time is related to preparing the eye before surgery and ensuring you're fully recovered prior to going home.
How should I travel home after surgery?
It is not safe for you to drive on the same day as having surgery. You should arrange for a friend or a relative to accompany you on your travels and you should bring dark glasses to wear going home. Public transport should be avoided where possible although overground trains are acceptable. Our recommendations are that you are driven home.
Can I drive after surgery?
You cannot drive on the day of surgery. Laser patients have an eye check the day after surgery and are then clear to drive. Cataract and lens exchange patients have an eye check within 7 days of surgery and are then usually clear to drive.
How long do lens implants last?
Lens implants are permanent and never need to be removed or changed, your vision should remain stable with no further treatment necessary thereafter. Rarely lens implants need to be polished with a minor laser procedure. Very rarely astigmatism can appear with age but again this can be dealt, with a laser procedure.
Will the appearance of my eye change after surgery?
No, the appearance of the eye is not altered after surgery.
Can I call if there is an emergency after surgery?
Yes, in the event of an emergency please call 0203 808 7758 and select option 2 to contact our emergency team.
When can I participate in sporting activities?
As a general rule, care must be taken not to introduce any infection into the eye for 1 week following surgery, this means no shower water, pool water or other potentially contaminated water such as jacuzzi’s. From one week onwards you can return to all exercise and activities except for contact sports, where we advise one month.
Can I wear eye make-up after surgery?
You can return to wearing eye make up one week after surgery.
How do you carry out eye surgery and will I feel anything?
Practically all eye surgery is performed under local anaesthetic with mild tablet sedation. If you cannot bear the idea of this there is the option of general anaesthesia. During surgery, local anaesthetic eye drops are used to completely numb the surface of the eye and the edges of the eye lids. The eyelids are held in place by a gentle spring loaded eye lid holder, which allows you to blink partially but not so much as to allow the eye lids to get in the surgeon’s way. You will feel nothing during the operation and the eye will remain numb for 30 minutes after the procedure. Many patients worry about moving during the procedure but this is rarely a problem because the patient has a flashing light to look at to keep the eye in correct position and the technology used compensates for any eye movements.
Will I be provided aftercare after surgery?
Yes, aftercare consists of eye drops and advice about the do’s and don’ts. These will be explained both before the surgery and again before you leave the hospital to ensure you are clear on these.
How soon can I fly after surgery?
It is important to have your first post-operative visit before you fly or go on holiday. For laser eye surgery, this is at 1 day and for lens exchange 1 week after surgery.


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