Cataract refers to clouding of the lens of the eye. This clouding is a common part of normal tissue ageing, and cataract extraction is therefore one of the commonest operations in the world. Fortunately it is also one of the most successful procedures.
The regional cataract service for the North East of England is located at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) and was nationally recognised by the Department of Innovation and Improvement in 2007 for its effectiveness and innovation. It is also one of the busiest in the UK, with our specialist team of Consultant Ophthalmologists carrying out in the region of 8,000 cataract operations each year.
Appointments available throughout the region
Your GP can book you in to a range of clinics throughout the region quickly and easily via the Choose and Book system. In addition to daily clinics at our base at the RVI in Newcastle, we hold dedicated cataract clinics at:
- Wansbeck (Ashington)
- Shotley Bridge
- Gateshead (Fell Tower)
Specialist care where and when you need it
Our aim is to make our cataract service as accessible and convenient for you as possible, as well as ensuring you receive the very best clinical care possible.
When you are referred to us you will attend a ‘one-stop’ clinic at the RVI. Here you will be seen by an ophthalmologist and a specially trained nurse to be fully assessed for your cataract operation. For patients who live outside the Newcastle area, we hold similar clinics and post-operation appointments at local hospitals across the region. Once you decide to go ahead with cataract surgery, you will be given a choice of surgery dates and will leave the clinic with a date that is convenient for you.
We encourage our patients to be active participants in their treatment and want you to be as well-informed as possible. We provide written information and you can discuss any questions or concerns you may have with our staff.
Convenient, efficient and relaxed service
Most patients choose to have their cataract surgery under local anaesthetic and will spend up to half a day in the hospital based on Ward 21 in Claremont Wing.
If you choose to have your surgery under general anaesthetic you will usually spend the rest of the day in hospital and go home that evening. To make things as convenient for you as possible, we usually give patients who live outside of the Newcastle area a later appointment time for surgery to allow time to travel to the RVI.
We provide a dedicated, specialist services to make your cataract surgery as convenient, efficient and relaxed as possible. While relatives are welcome to attend on the day of surgery, during busy periods they may be asked to stay in the waiting area to give patients privacy on the day case ward.