Cataract surgery

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s crystalline lens. This condition alters vision and affects daily activities. Treating it consists of removing the cataract and implanting an artificial lens.

Surgery is the only way to treat this condition. If you decide against surgery, your vision will continue to deteriorate. 

This surgery does not correct any other causes of vision loss, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes. 

This surgery is covered by Québec’s health insurance program (RAMQ). Other fees may apply, however, depending on the type of lens (see below for prices).

Contact us

Hôpital Laurentien
Pavillon Duquette (ground floor)
234, rue Saint-Vincent, Sainte-Agahte-des-Monts
819-324-4000, ext. 34958

Centre de services ambulatoires de Boisbriand
4800, rue Ambroise-Lafortune
Boisbriand (Qc) J7H 1S6

Before surgery

Have your pharmacist prepare a list of your medications and bring it with you to give to the nurse on the day of your surgery.

Start putting your prescribed drops into the eye in question three days before the surgery.

  • Use the eye drops at meal time and bedtime.
  • Shake each bottle.
  • Wait five minutes between each drop.
  • Use a new bottle for each eye to avoid infection.

Unless your ophthalmologist indicates otherwise, continue applying drops for treating your glaucoma. Use new bottles.

The day of your surgery

  • Come accompanied, as you will not be able to drive after your surgery
  • Eat a light breakfast
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove
  • Take your medication as prescribed (e.g., blood pressure medication, anti-coagulants) unless indicated otherwise by your ophthalmologist
  • Do not wear makeup or face cream
  • Do not wear earrings on the day of your surgery
  • Put in your eye drops as prescribed
  • Bring a snack, especially if you are diabetic

Please call us to report any condition that could affect the surgery (e.g., flu, redness, stye). A member of our team may reschedule your surgery.

When you arrive

  • Go to reception
  • Present your health insurance card
  • You will be assigned a locker to store your personal effects
  • Tell the nurse if you feel anxious

After your surgery

  • The nursing staff will guide you on the care to continue at home.
  • Someone must accompany you home, as you will not be able to drive.
  • An ophthalmologist will see you the day after your surgery.
  • You must see your optometrist one to two weeks after your surgery.

The procedure

A local anesthetic is administered, usually in the form of eye drops or ointment. On rare occasions, an injection is required. 

During the surgery, the cataract is removed by breaking it into small fragments, which are then aspirated through a small, self-sealing incision, which usually does not require stitches.

Once the cataract is removed, a new artificial intraocular lens is permanently implanted in your eye. The procedure takes about 15 minutes.

Risks and complications

Any procedure involving the eye involves some risk and can result in complications or ineffective results. Complications include, but are not limited to, discomfort (usually during the first 24 to 48 hours), hemorrhage, infection, rupture of the lens capsule, retinal or corneal oedema (swelling), retinal detachment, ptosis (eyelid drooping), astigmatism, glaucoma, double vision, residual fragments, loss of the eye. Note that these complications are very rare.


Patients who wish to receive cataract surgery with implantation of a basic lens (monofocal soft) will have no fees to pay. 

For some people, this lens is sufficient to give them good distance sight without glasses; glasses will be necessary for near sight (e.g., computer, reading). 

Depending on the medical condition of your eyes, the ophthalmologist may suggest different lenses, in order to limit your use of eyeglasses after cataract surgery.

Patients with astigmatism, should they wish to benefit from better distance sight without glasses, will have to obtain a special (toric) lens. Similarly, patients wishing to avoid eyeglasses altogether can, when medically permitted, obtain a multifocal lens. Since wearing eyeglasses is not considered an illness, this type of lens is not covered by the RAMQ. Tests and procedures required to implant these lenses are also not covered. 

If you are interested in toric lenses, fees may include:

  • The cost of the lens (which varies according to the type and manufacturer)
  • Evaluation of the corneal surface (topography): $60 per eye
  • Automatic or manual marking of the eye: $50 per eye
  • Alignment of the lens in the eye: $100 per eye

Measurements to determine the strength of the intraocular lens are taken when you sign up for the surgery. The exams’ precision can vary according to your eye type. Note that moderate error in measurement arises in about 20% of cases. THIS MEANS THAT THE USE OF GLASSES FOR DISTANCE AND NEAR SIGHT AFTER THE SURGERY COULD BE POSSIBLE, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF LENS CHOSEN, INCLUDING MULTIFOCAL LENSES. SURGERY TO CHANGE THE LENS IS NOT OFFERED IN THOSE CASES. The need to wear glasses after the surgery is unrelated to whether you wore glasses before the cataract surgery.

Lastly, should complications arise, IT MIGHT BE IMPOSSIBLE TO IMPLANT THE LENS OF YOUR CHOICE. The surgeon will opt at that point to implant, if possible, the government’s standard lens. In this case, you will be reimbursed for all related fees and procedures.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the secretary of the Ophthalmology Department. If necessary, you will be given an appointment to clarify the various lens options available and their related fees.

Intraocular lens prices

The ophthalmologist will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of intraocular lenses. If the surgeon finds, for some reason, that the chosen lens cannot be implanted, an optimal alternative will be proposed and the cost difference will be fully reimbursed by the CISSS des Laurentides.

Payment method

You are requested to pay the fees before the surgery. Ask the person accompanying you to look after the payment if your surgery is scheduled for before 8:00 a.m. You can pay in cash or by debit, Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Cheques are not accepted. 

SN60WF soft$0 RAMQ
M160 soft$0 RAMQ
NZ-1 soft$0 RAMQ
PCB00 soft$0 RAMQ
AR40 soft$0 RAMQ
DIB00 intermediate vision$225 
ZMB, ZLB et ZKB multifocal$650 
ZFR00VI multifocal$1,000 
ZXR00 multifocal$885 
ZCT toric$350 
ZXT toric multifocal$1,000 
ZMT toric multifocal$1,000 
TFNT00 multifocal$1,000 
TFNT toric multifocal$1,000 
Fine Vision trifocal$845 
MC60TP Envista toric$250