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 you:
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 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 measure the eye
and calculate 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 incision is created, then an
ultrasonic probe is used to shatter and remove the cataract.
Once the cataract is removed, your new intra-ocular lens (IOL) is
introduced into the eye. The incision is then sealed and the procedure is complete.
With advanced cataract surgery, most patients return to
their daily routines soon after surgery. Cataract
surgery's permanent results often allow patients to
enjoy better vision than they 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. 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