Refractive Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery

Q: What is the difference between traditional cataract and laser-assisted cataract surgery?

A: Traditional cataract removal is done by hand, with a scalpel to create incisions in the eye. A hand held instrument then uses ultrasonic power to break-up the lens with the cataract.

Laser cataract surgery offers a more refined vision restoration experience by introducing a laser to allow for a safer, less invasive procedure with precision that can’t be mimicked by hand alone.

Using our state-of-the-art laser technology, the surgeon is able to make more precise, customized, and accurate incisions compared with a procedure performed by hand alone. The laser is also used to gently soften the lens, allowing it to be removed and replaced with a new artificial intraocular lens. This less-invasive, laser-assisted procedure promotes faster healing. Refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery can also help patients to achieve a greater long-term visual outcome.

Q: Are both eyes done on the same day?

A: No, each eye is done separately and the time between each procedure can vary depending on many factors.

Intraocular Lenses (IOL) and Lens Choices

Q: What is an intraocular lens implant?

A: An Intraocular Lens Implant is an artificial lens implanted by the surgeon to replace your natural lens that has grown cataracts or has a refractive error or other eye health or vision restoration problem requiring the implant. Artificial lenses are very durable and can last for a lifetime. Cataracts do not grow on artificial lenses.

Q: What are extended focal length lenses?

A: Extended focal Range Lenses are presbyopia correcting IOLs that offer more sophisticated optical technology to provide distance, intermediate, and near vision. This lens has the potential to offer patients freedom from glasses and improved night vision. This lens has less halos and glare compared to last generation multifocal lenses. We also offer the Multi Focal Point Lens for our patients with astigmatism.

Q: Can I exchange my current IOL implant for an extended focal range lens?

A: Due to high demand for our surgeons’ services and skills and complexity of IOL exchanges, they are not currently performing intraocular lens exchange at this time, however, if you would like to provide your contact information we would be glad to contact you when and if this service becomes available in the future.

Q: What is astigmatism?

A: There are two components to astigmatism. An astigmatism occurs when the cornea and/or lens of your eye are not completely smooth or round. As light rays pass through a cornea or lens that is not completely smooth or round, the light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus. When this occurs images are distorted or stretched. This can often be corrected by prescription glasses. We can correct correct astigmatism using our laser during Refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery [ReLACS] and by implanting a Toric lens at the time of your surgery

Q: Are all lenses at VICTORIA EYE soft foldable lenses?

A: Yes.

Q: Why would I choose an extended focal length lens over a multifocal toric lens?

A: The extended focal length lens offers an extended range of vision, which provides a blended range of vision points versus the multifocal lens with 2 or more focal points, which is similar to bifocal or trifocal lenses in a pair of prescription glasses. With the multifocal lens you will also experience halos at night – this is significantly reduced with the extended focal length lens.

General Information

Q: Is there parking available?

A: There is a multilevel parkade behind our building with spots marked and reserved for VICTORIA EYE patients on the upper level.

Q: Will my extended health cover the procedure or the cost of the lens?

A: What coverage plans pay for varies, however, some plans do cover the cost of intraocular lenses. Make sure to check with your insurance provider.  We will provide a detailed invoice for your records for you to submit if applicable.

Preparing for Surgery

Q: When do I start my drops?

A: You will begin taking your drops a few days BEFORE surgery so be sure to fill your prescription early.  A schedule will be provided.

Q: Where do I go on the day of the surgery?

A: If your surgery is being performed at VICTORIA EYE SURGERY please check in  suite 300 – 1537 Hillside Avenue. It is the first door as you come out of the elevator or up the stairs.

If your surgery is being performed at Royal Jubilee Hospital you will check in at the main desk and be directed to Clinic 6.

Q: How much earlier than my arrival time should I be at Victoria Eye?

A: The arrival time is the time scheduled for you to come to the surgery centre. There is no need to arrive any earlier.

Q: Do I need to bring sunglasses to my surgery?

A: Our private surgery centre provides patients with a kit with everything immediately required, including sunglasses.

Q: Do I need a driver for the day of my surgery?

A: We require patients to have a driver/escort after surgery to make sure you arrive home safely. You may take a taxi home if you are escorted by an adult. You may be able to arrange a service like Driving Miss Daisy (250 588-4638) or Nurse Next Door (250 590-5519) to take you home after the procedure. If you do not have an escort, we may be required to postpone your surgery.

Q: How long will my surgery take?

A: You may be at the surgery centre for approximately two hours but the procedure will only take about 20 minutes. We are unable to provide an exact time of how long your surgical experience may take as the duration varies from patient to patient. For most of the time you will be relaxing while we are putting drops in your eye and preparing you for surgery.

Your escort/driver can stay and wait for you in the waiting room. We have magazines and a nature show for their entertainment as well as refreshments. Your escort/driver may choose to go across the street to the Hillside Mall instead of waiting at our centre. We require that we can reach them by phone to receive a call informing when you will be ready to be picked up. 

Q: Can I eat breakfast? The instruction sheet does not say if I am a procedural patient.

A: If you are scheduled to receive procedural sedation for your surgery, please do not eat or drink for 3 hours prior to your arrival time. Information and instructions are provided to you at the time your surgery is booked, so be sure to refer to the information package provided.  Most of our patients only require local anesthetic, and in that case may eat a regular breakfast, but please do not have any caffeine the day of the surgery.

Q: I have a cold/cough/sinus infection/increase in discharge from eyes. Do I need to postpone my surgery?

A: Yes, if you have a cold or sinus infection. If you have a cough that is controllable we can consider keeping your surgery as scheduled. Please bring cough medicine/lozenge with you to the facility. If you cannot control your cough, we will have to postpone the surgery. Please let us know if you are sick or have discharge from the eye to be operated on. Your surgeon may ask to see you prior to surgery to make sure you do not have an infection.

After Surgery

Q: Can I drive after my surgery?

A: It is advised that you do not drive after your surgery until approved by your surgeon. You are also advised not to make any legal decisions for 24 hours following a sedative medication and we recommend you have a responsible adult stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery.

Q: Can I have a shower after my surgery? Do I wash my hair?

A: A bath or sponge bath is acceptable for the first week. For one week, we ask that you shower from the neck down as to prevent any water from getting in your eye.

Q: What if I run out of Eye Drops?

A: You have one refill on the prescription we have given you. If your pharmacy will not give you another bottle, ask them to fax us for a renewal.

Q: When can I start exercising?

A: For 1 week after surgery: NO heavy lifting (over 10 lbs.), strenuous activities (nothing that gets heart rate up eg. Biking, walking up hills, running, golf etc.), or bending over (try to keep head above heart). For 2 weeks after surgery: NO swimming/hot tubs/water.

Q: What if I have an emergency and need to be seen by my surgeon?

A: If you feel you have an emergency, please contact VICTORIA EYE at 250 598-5665. In case of an emergency outside office hours, please go directly to the closest emergency room.


  • Severe Pain
  • Loss or sudden decrease in vision
  • Increase in floaters/thousands of floaters/spots like pepper in eye

Find Out More

Simply contact us and we will get back to you within 1-2 business days.