Cataract Surgery Preparation And Recovery Guide

Posted on: 9 December 2016


Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye begins to cloud up. Your vision gradually dims if steps aren't taken to correct the issue. Fortunately, most cataracts can be corrected with simple, laser cataract surgery. The following guide can help you know what to expect so you can prepare appropriately.

How many appointments can you expect?

In the weeks leading up to surgery, you will have at least one appointment with the doctor so they can measure the shape and size of your eye. This is necessary so that the appropriate lens implant is chosen before the surgery date. You will then have the actual surgery. After this, expect at least one followup a couple of weeks after the procedure. Unless there are concerns, you probably won't need to followup again until your next regular eye exam.

Is this an outpatient procedure?

Yes. It's very uncommon for a patient to be kept overnight for cataract surgery. In fact, you probably won't be completely anesthesized. A local anesthesia is used to numb the eye, primarily to avoid discomfort since there is very little pain. The entire procedure takes no more than an hour or two, so you will be back home by the afternoon.

Will you need to prepare beforehand?

Although you won't be put under, you may still need to stop eating the night before the procedure. This is to avoid any nausea or adverse reactions to the local anesthesia. You must also arrange for a ride home, since you won't be able to drive immediately following the procedure. Other than that, get a good night's rest.

What are the concerns following the surgery?

There are very few concerns. Your vision will take a few days to return to normal, and then it will be much clearer and sharper than before. During this recovery time, your eye may feel dry or gravelly – don't rub or touch it. Side effects are rare. The most common issues are eye infection or fluid buildup in the eye. Make sure you contact your doctor right away if you experience any issues that concern you.

Are there other followup concerns?

You will be prescribed an antibiotic, so make sure you take it as directed. You may also need to use prescribed eye drops. Beyond that, just rest and stay out of bright light until your eye has healed. Your doctor will let you know if there is anything else you should do.

For more help, talk with a cataract specialist in your area.