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Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in Africa but can be surgically removed, as soon as the vision is influenced. There are many causes for cataracts, including toxins, trauma and age.

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What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the lens inside the eye that gets more rigid and less clear with time. The lens is a very important refractive element in the eye, with a huge influence on your vision.

What to expect with cataract surgery?

cataract surgeryCataract Surgery is done under local anaesthesia in most hospitals. It is not necessary for patients to stay over in the hospital after surgery.  And in most cases your vision is hugely improved the day after surgery, which makes cataract surgery one of the most successful surgeries to undergo, if not the most successful.

The latest technology used for cataract surgery is through a micro incision and phacoemulsification which is an ultrasound technique. This means that the incision that the surgeon makes is only a 2 millimetres big and does not need stitches in most cases, which means that the patient is much more comfortable after surgery.

After cataract surgery most refractive errors can be eliminated, meaning patients who had to wear glasses before their surgery would in most gases not need glasses after surgery except for reading glasses.

Different refractive errors  

People can have different refractive errors which are; far sightedness or hyperopia, these are people who struggle with reading and near vision mostly but  in some cases where a patient have got a big refractive error they can also struggle with distance vision.

  • If you have near-sightedness or myopia, you cannot see in the distance without glasses or contact lenses.
  • Astigmatism  is a condition where you struggle with distance and near vision because of the shape or your cornea which is not nice and round.

People older than 40 years of age start to struggle with reading which is called presbyopia (your arms hold reading material further and further away from your eyes!)

Most of these refractive errors can be eliminated after cataract surgery with the latest technology intraocular lenses which are put into the eye by your surgeon when the cataract is removed. Some medical aids (often the higher plans) pay for the more advanced lenses but most of them pay for ordinary distance intraocular lenses (then the patient has to supplement the extra amount that the medical aid does not cover).  

You will need in most cases to start treatment with a lid shampoo and antibiotic eye drops before the surgery in order to rid the eyes of any bacteria and minimise the postoperative infection risk.

Complications are rare in the hands of experienced ophthalmologists and most of them are managed successfully.


Thank you Chrissie for my wonderful cataract procedure and the results.

I felt so confident in your expertise and liked your caring but quick and encouraging attitude.

Now, I have much better vision and enjoy all the occupations needing good sight.

A joy at 87.

Warm wishes from Marlene Sharpe.


Dear Chrissie

I came to you to assist me with the spider webs in my eyes and you saw that I had cataracts as well. You suggested fixing my eyes by removing the cataracts and inserting a lens to improve my sight and now I don't need glasses.

It took me 3 months to decide as I was nervous and once done you have restored my sight to near perfect. I can't thank you enough for your good work. It was all so simple and painless and you and your staff are excellent and efficient. I particularly liked the short visits to hospital, 2 hours for each eye, and your charge included the after care visits as well.

I'm a big fan of you and your work and would recommend you to anyone who has eye problems. I'm 74 and I wish I had come to you years ago.

All the best to you and the staff

Eddie Toevs


Although I knew the surgery was inevitable I really wasn’t looking forward to it. The thought of having my eye cut into and a lens inserted wasn’t my idea of a fun time.

On the day of the surgery I was quite nervous but there was no need at all, the environment is extremely comforting and so are all of the staff. A quick chat to Chrissie and the anaesthetist followed by a short walk into the surgery and 25 minutes later I was on my way back to recovery.

After a snack I was on my way home with no discomfort at all. The check-up with Chrissie the following day confirmed that the procedure had gone well and I had perfect distance vision in the eye that had been operated on. Now I am looking forward to having the other eye sorted out.

What a pleasure.

Greg Botes


Choosing Dr Chrissie Cockinos to correct my eyes was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had had a number of unhappy experiences with other eye specialists over the past ten years, all of whom were highly transactional in their approach which always left me feeling empty and disappointed.

I chose Dr Cockinos because apart from her professional expertise described on the Sandhurst Eye Hospital’s website, I saw her kind face and knew she had the extra gift of a personal touch that the other doctors lacked.

Dr Chrissie exceeded my expectations beyond anything I could have wished for. She is so gentle and caring and kind, that by the time you walk into the operating theatre and see her waiting for you, you feel 100% comfortable that everything is going to go well. Her presence in the theatre is one of complete calm and super competence.

The procedure was quick, painless and the post-op care outstanding.  All my follow up visits were something I looked forward to and enjoyed.  Her whole team, Sian who checks your vision and Sue who receives you at the front desk are so warm and welcoming. Dr Cockinos’ practice has the personal touch that people need when they are nervous about such a sensitive part of their body being worked on.

I recommend Dr Cockinos to every person I meet who needs exceptional eye care with a wonderful bedside manner. She certainly changed my life and I am so grateful to her for giving me my vision back.

Shelley Loock