Cheaper Cataracts Fix

cheaper cataract

Cheaper Cataract Surgery?

There was a newspaper article in the West Australian newspaper today, quoting a new technology at “a fraction of the cost of normal surgery”. We would like to discuss this article in detail in this blog, to help you understand it better.

For those of you who wish to skip to the bottom line: this article is inaccurate, so prevalent of irresponsible and inaccurate reporting these days.

The cost of this new technology is not a fraction of the cost of normal surgery, but rather, it is a fraction of the cost of the laser cataract system which both in itself, is $XX in addition to the cost of normal cataract surgery.

The New Technology

The Zepto micro pulse capsulotomy quoted in this article is not a new method of cataract surgery. It is a new tool for performing ONE of the many steps in a cataract surgery.

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract is the gradual blurring of the natural lens inside your eye. Cataract surgery removes the ageing blurry lens and replaces this lens with a clear new lens implant. Click here for a more detailed explanation.

How does this new technology relate to surgery costs?

The Zepto capsulotomy is only a tool for opening the cataract. This is the $250 component.  

The cataract still needs to be removed by a cataract machine. Also a lens implant will still need to be inserted as per “normal cataract surgery”.


Cost Breakdown of Cataract Surgery

Much of the cost of modern cataract surgery is the surgery facility fee which pays for:

  • Hospital environment and equipment
  • Sterile surgery theatre space
  • Nursing staff in theatre
  • Nursing staff before and after surgery
  • Reception staff
  • Sterilisation personnel and equipment
  • Cleaners
  • Sterile disposables like tubing, fluids, blades, gowns, dressing and surgical drapes.

The lens implant is the important part that a patient actually lives with for the rest of their lives.  A lens implant can cost a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

There is also an anaesthetist fee. The anaesthetist is responsible for keeping a patient comfortable during and after surgery.

If a laser is used in cataract surgery then there would be an additional optional laser fee.

All these components are required before the surgeon can even begin the surgery.

PEH surgery small2


As you can see, there are many essential costs associated with a normal modern cataract surgery. A $250 tool which performs one step in cataract surgery is not able to replace all of the above items. In fact, using this tool costs $250 above the cost of normal cataract surgery. For instance, if normal self-funded cataract surgery is $4000, then self-funded cataract surgery with Zepto capsulotomy costs $4000 + $250.

What about health funds?

If you are insured, the entire cost of your normal cataract surgery is usually covered by your health fund. However, the cost of using the optional Zepto device or Laser during cataract surgery may not be covered by your health fund. I hope this transparent discussion helps to also highlight the benefit of having a full hospital cover. 

Where to go from here?

We are working with the West Australian to help clarify the inaccuracies in their "Cheaper Fix For Cataracts" article. Stay tuned for more updates! 

Click here to find out more about our services and cataract surgery at Perth Eye Hospital, the largest and most advanced private eye surgery facility in Perth. 

Aculase Laser Eye Surgery Video Click 3

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