Cataract Surgery

A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the human eye, which impairs the vision and makes it hard to do even the simplest task. More often than not, it develops slowly and is brought about by factors that deteriorate eye health like ageing, although trauma and injury to the eye can lead to developing cataracts.

Cataracts are the main reason for blindness all over the world in people over the age of 40. This eye condition should not be taken lightly and cannot be reversed using eye drops alone. As soon as you notice vision problems, you should run to your doctor to see if the cause is cataracts. 

Regular eye checks at Ministry of Health certified clinics in Singapore, or an eye specialist are also recommended, especially if you are well in your 40s, 50s and up.

*Dr Claudine also wrote a very comprehensive cataract surgery guide for here.

Cataract Operation at Asia Retina

The treatment involves removing the cataracts and replacing them with an artificial lens implant (also known as intraocular lens, or IOL). Asia Retina is equipped with all four types of IOL to give you the widest range of options in terms of comfort, medical advice and lifestyle suitability:

Asia Retina utilises the Phaco method for cataract surgery, which removes the cataract using ultrasound energy via a tiny, 2mm wound.

Asia Retina offers both the Bladed and Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery to our patients, depending on their existing medical condition. Dr Claudine Pang will personally assess and provide recommendations based on suitability. The procedure takes about only 30 minutes. Asia Retina prefers to fully sedate our patients for their maximum comfort. That means you will not be aware of what is happening in the operating room.

Cataract removal surgeries are one of the most common surgeries today. This is basically a day surgery, therefore you do not need to stay overnight. For the most part, the recovery process is painless and smooth but that does not mean you shouldn’t follow some aftercare tips, especially if the advice is given by your eye doctor. 

For starters, you need someone to come to pick you up from the hospital as you are not recommended to drive on the first day. It is also necessary to take a few days off work. Some patients handle the procedure so well that they feel like going back to the office right away and doing their normal tasks. However, you had better spend some time at home resting before engaging in these activities again.

Cataract Surgery Cost

You can make an enquiry to find out the expenses during such an intervention. Whether you’re a private patient or a subsidised patient will make a difference in price.

Depending on the private or public hospital, you will be charged from $1,300 to $4,000 per eye. And if you are enrolling for a premium lens, you will need to cough up anywhere between $4,500 and $6,000. 

However, keep in mind that the final price will also include hospital stay, eye surgeon’s fee, and if such is necessary, pre and post-surgery visits, etc. Hence, when you are calculating the amount, you have to take all these factors into account.

Furthermore, medical complications are unlikely to arise, but each body is different and we can never predict its response with 100% certainty. If something like that happens, your treatment will probably take longer, not to mention that will add to the cost. 

The amount will depend on the type of equipment used and the need for the involvement of another expert. There is no way to tell the full price upfront because there is no way to tell what will go wrong, if anything, during or after the operation.

In case you’re worried about the cost of cataract surgery in Singapore, I’m pleased to inform you that cataract surgery at Asia Retina is both Medisave and insurance claimable.

Cataract Surgery Cost
Medisave Claimable
Guided Claims

Is Cataract Surgery Medisave claimable?

For Medisave, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can expect to claim $2,450 off surgical costs using either their own Medisave or their immediate family member’s Medisave. 

Is Cataract Surgery Insurance claimable?

For insurance, depending on your policy and medishield riders, it is possible to claim up to the full amount of cost including pre-surgery and post-surgery visits.

Asia Retina will gladly guide you through the claims process.

FAQ on Cataract Surgery

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

Complications from cataract surgery are not very common and most cases are easily treatable. Some cataract surgery complications include: 

  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Dislocation of artificial lens
  • Retinal detachment
  • Glaucoma
  • Secondary cataract
  • Loss of vision
How long does a cataract surgery take?

The duration of a cataract surgery is about 20 minutes. However, the anaesthesia takes about 30 minutes to an hour to wear off. 

Is cataract surgery painful?

Cataract surgery is not painful as there will be numbing eye drops applied before the procedure. The effects of the eye drops will wear off a few hours after the surgery. 

How do I care for my eyes after cataract surgery?


  • Getting sufficient rest and sleep will go a long way in helping you to recover from any surgery. 
  • Be careful while walking or taking the stairs as you might have difficulty judging distances properly 
  • Avoid driving where possible. Ask your doctor if it is okay for you to drive if you aren’t sure. 
  • Wear your eye patch, or eye shield as recommended by your doctor. Remember to wear it when you sleep too. 
  • You can wash your hair after surgery but be sure to keep water, soap and shampoo or other products away from your eyes, especially for the first week.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes or putting pressure on them for at least a week. 
  • Avoid eye makeup, facial cream or lotions for 1 to 2 weeks. 
  • Do not get your hair coloured or permed for 10 days after surgery. Do not perm or colour your hair for 10 days after surgery 
  • Do not bend over or do any strenuous exercise for about 2 weeks after surgery. 
  • Avoid swimming, hot tubs and gardening for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Remember to wear sunglasses when you go under the sun for at least 1 year after surgery.


  • Consult your doctor about resuming your old medications.  If you take aspirin or some other blood-thinning medication, ask your doctor if it is okay to start taking it again.
  • Take your eye drops as instructed by your doctor. 
  • Take your pain medication as instructed by your doctor. 
Can cataract surgery help to restore my vision perfectly?

Your vision will be very clear after the surgery. This is because the cloudy lens affected by the cataract has been removed and replaced with a much clearer artificial lens. However, most people only have their eyes stabilised about 2-4 months after surgery, after which they will go back to the ophthalmologist to get their eyes checked again. 

You may need a new set of prescription eyeglasses depending on the type of artificial lens you have gotten. Your vision may not be perfect but it will definitely be better than before the surgery. 

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