Cataract Surgery: What To Expect Before, During And After The Procedure

Posted on: 9 February 2015


Cataracts can greatly impact your ability to see the world clearly as the natural lens that covers your eye becomes cloudy. Thankfully, ophthalmologists can surgically restore your vision by replacing this natural lens with an artificial one. Knowing what to expect both during and after this procedure can help you to better understand the benefits and risks associated with cataract surgery and ultimately determine if this procedure is right for you.

What To Expect Before The Procedure

Nearly all cataract surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis at a local hospital. Typically, you will be asked to report to the hospital shortly before the procedure is scheduled to begin so that you can be prepped for surgery.

Before the procedure begins, you can expect to be given a mild sedative and to have a local anesthetic administered in your eye. While you will be awake for this procedure, the use of a sedative and local anesthesia should prevent you from feeling any discomfort or pain. If you are anxious about the idea of remaining awake for this procedure, be sure to share your feelings with your ophthalmologist prior to the day of your surgery. This will allow you to discuss the possibility of using full anesthesia if necessary.

What To Expect During The Procedure

Once you have been sedated, your surgeon will make a very small incision in the side of your cornea using a laser. Next, a micro-device that creates ultrasound vibrations will be inserted into the incision. The vibrations caused by this device work to break up the lens that covers your eye so that suction can be used to remove it.

After removing your natural lens, an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens will be implanted. Once this artificial lens is in place, your cataract surgery will be complete.

What To Expect After The Procedure

You should expect to experience mild irritation and discomfort, additional tearing, and light sensitivity in the hours directly following your surgery. These issues can be addressed through the use of over-the-counter pain medications and should subside on their own within a few days. Wearing a pair of dark glasses may also help to eliminate light sensitivity until the eye is able to heal completely.

In order to prevent infection, your surgeon will also require you to administer antibiotic eye drops for several days after the procedure.

Once the eye has healed completely, your new lens will not require any special care, however, you may need to obtain a new eyeglass prescription as most people see a dramatic improvement in their vision after undergoing cataract surgery.

For more information, contact Alta View Eye Care Center or a similar location.