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Cataract Surgery: What to Expect

Cataract Surgery: What to Expect

Cataract SurgeryHow to prepare for your surgery
If you have a planned cataract surgery there are several preparations you will need to make in the weeks and days leading up to your surgery. About a week before your surgery you can expect to have an ultrasound carried out on your eye. This will measure the exact size and shape of your eye so that your doctor can determine which type of lens implant will work best for you. The ultrasound is completely painless and takes only a few minutes.

  • Medication
    You will be advised by your doctor to stop taking certain medications that could hinder your recovery process or increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery.
  • Fasting
    You’ll need to fast for 12 or 24 hours leading up to the surgery. When fasting before your surgery only consume clear liquids.
  • Eye drops
    Your doctor will prescribe eye drops in the days leading up to the surgery. These antibiotic eye drops can help the reduce the chances of infection.

Surgery
Cataract surgery is usually a quick procedure, taking only an hour or less. It is generally an outpatient procedure so you will be able to return home shortly afterwards. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area but you will remain awake throughout the surgery. If you are particularly nervous about the procedure you may be offered a sedative to calm you down.

Depending on your type of cataract surgery, your clouded lens will be removed in one of two ways. Your doctor will discuss with you the details of your surgery, but generally you can expect the cataract to be removed by an incision in the eye, or an ultrasound probe that will break up the cataract for removal. After the extraction, a clear artificial lens will replace your old lens. The new lens will become a part of your eye. It will not need any special care, and you won’t be able to see or feel it. There are many types of artificial lenses available; you will discuss with your doctor which type will best fit your specific situation.

Recovery
Your vision will begin to improve just a few days after your surgery. As your eyes adjust, it is normal for your vision to be blurry for several days, and for your eyes to feel itchy or uncomfortable. Avoid scratching them. You will be prescribed eye drops to aid with the eyes healing process, and can expect to have made a full recovery within eight weeks.