What should I expect before surgery?
Before deciding to have Cataract surgery, you will need
an initial examination to make sure your eyes are
suitable for surgery. Your doctor will take a complete
history about your medical and eye health and perform a
thorough examination of both eyes.
If you wear contact lenses, your doctor may ask you to
stop wearing them before your initial examination (from
the day of to a few weeks before), so that your
refraction (measure of how much your eye bends light)
and central keratometry readings (measure of how much
the cornea curves) are more accurate.
At this time, your doctor will ask you if:
Take any medications, including over-the-counter
medications, vitamins and other supplements
Have any allergies
Have had any eye conditions
Have undergone any previous eye surgery
Have had any medical conditions.
Deciding to have Surgery
To help you decide whether Cataract surgery is right for
you, your doctor and you will thoroughly discuss your
expectations and whether there are elements of your
medical history, eye history, or eye examination that
might increase your risk or prevent you from having the
outcome you expect. Your doctor will discover and then
Whether you are a good candidate,
What are the risks, benefits and alternatives of the
What you should expect before, during and after surgery
What your responsibilities will be before, during and
Before your surgery, your doctor will measures the eye
and calculates the power of lens that you will need. You
must not eat or drink after midnight on the day of
Before your surgery, your doctor may ask you to
temporarily stop taking certain medications that
increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. How long
before surgery you may need to stop these medications
depends upon which medications you are using and the
conditions they are treating. You and your doctor may
need to discuss stopping certain medications with the
doctor who prescribed them, since you may need some of
these medications to prevent life-threatening events.
For example, you may need medications that stop blood
clotting to keep from having a stroke.
What should I expect during surgery?
The surgery usually lasts less than 30 minutes and is
generally painless. Many people choose to stay awake
during surgery, while others may need to be put to sleep
for a short time. If you are awake, you will have an
anesthetic to numb the nerves in and around your eye.
You will not have to worry about holding your eye open
because an instrument known as a lid speculum will hold
your lids open. You will likely see light and movement
during surgery, but the eye usually is not
Your doctor will first administer a comfortable topical
anesthetic which will completely numb the eye. Next a
small "No-stitch" procedure is invoked, then an
ultrasonic probe is used to reduce the cataract into a
Once removed, your new intra-ocular lens (IOL) is
introduced into the eye. The incision then bonds
together naturally and the procedure is complete.
With advanced cataract surgery, most patients return to
their daily routines shortly after surgery. Cataract
surgery's permanent results often allow patients to
enjoy better vision than the patients had before
What should I expect
After the surgery is over, you may be brought to a
recovery room for a couple of hours before you will be
allowed to go home. You will feel as well following
surgery as you did before. The problem with feeling so
well is that it is difficult to persuade healthy, active
persons that they should follow post-operative
guidelines. To avoid the possibility of complications,
it is important to adhere to the following
Although patients are advised to eat only a light meal
following surgery, a normal diet may be resumed the day
Patients are pre-scheduled for a post-op exam at the
doctor's office the day following surgery.
In most cases, the second post-op exam is scheduled for
two weeks following surgery.
Additional post-op exams will be scheduled on an
Prescription eye drops are to be used in the
postoperative eye for about one month following surgery.
A special pair of sunglasses that can be worn over
regular prescription glasses will be provided. These
glasses guard against light sensitivity during the