Once you and your ophthalmologist have decided that you will have your cataract removed, your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye during surgery.
On the day of your surgery, make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the surgery.
The day of surgery
Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to skip breakfast, depending on the time of your surgery. When you arrive for surgery, you will be given eyedrops and perhaps a sedative to help you relax. A local anesthetic will numb the eye area. Your eye will be kept open by a special instrument. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening.
The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head.
Under an operating microscope, a small incision is made in your eye. Micro-surgical instruments are used to break apart and suction the cloudy lens from your eye. The back membrane of the lens (called the posterior capsule) is left in place. An advanced option is to use a Femto laser to carry out these steps to improve visual outcomes and safety.
An intraocular lens implant will be placed inside your eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. The incision is then closed, usually without the use of stitches.
When the surgery is complete, a shield or bandage will be placed over your eye, and will be removed during your first post op exam.
After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home.
- You will need to:
- Use the eyedrops as prescribed
- Be careful not to rub or press on your eye
- Use over-the-counter pain medicine if necessary
- Avoid very strenuous activities until the eye has healed
- Continue normal daily activities and moderate exercise
- Ask the doctor when you can begin driving
- Wear eyeglasses or eye shield as advised by the doctor
When is the laser used?
Does the cataract come back? No, but the posterior capsule sometimes turns cloudy several months or years after the original cataract operation. If this cloudiness blurs your vision, a subsequent surgery using a laser can be done.
Will cataract surgery improve my vision?
The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent, resulting in improved vision in the majority of cases. A small number of patients may notice minimal improvement due to other co-existing conditions in the eye.
Some of the more serious complications that may affect your vision are:
- Detachment of the retina
Call us immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after surgery:
- Pain not relieved by non-prescription pain medication
- Loss of vision
- Nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing
- Increasing redness
Even if the surgery is successful, you still may not see as well as you would like to. Other problems with your eyes, such as macular degeneration (aging of the retina), glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, may limit your vision after surgery. Even with such problems, cataract surgery may still be worthwhile.