What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

If you are nervous about the thought of having eye surgery to correct cataracts, it's a perfectly normal feeling. But, you can take comfort from the knowledge that cataract surgery has become routine, and it's one of the safest eye procedures you can have.

Here's what you can expect before, during, and after your laser cataract eye surgery.

Before Your Surgery

The first step in getting cataract surgery is to talk to your eye doctor. After making the decision to proceed, your ophthalmologist will run some tests and take some measurements of your eye(s). These will allow your doctor to identify which type of lens is needed to help you get the best results.

On the day that your surgery has been scheduled, you should not eat or drink anything in the twelve hours leading up to your scheduled procedure time, unless otherwise directed by the nursing staff during your pre-operative appointment. Our surgical nursing staff will meet with you prior to your surgery to go over with you with a complete list of precautions to take to prepare for your cataract surgery.

The Procedure Itself

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you don't need to plan for a hospital stay. You may choose to remain awake and alert during your procedure, which takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you could choose conscious sedation which should leave you awake, but feeling groggy and relaxed.

In either case, anesthetic drops will be used to numb your eye and the area surrounding it, so you will not experience any pain.

Your surgeon will remove the cataract and place a clear lens in its place. There are different methods used to do this. Your doctor will be able to explain the method chosen for your surgery, and the specific steps involved in helping to restore your vision.

After Your Cataract Surgery

You will not be able to drive immediately after cataract surgery and will need to have arranged for transportation for the day of your surgery. Please ask the person that you schedule your surgery with if you need any assistance with transportation for the day of your cataract surgery or for your first post operative visit. Your surgeon will tell you when you will be able to resume driving again (often the day after your surgery). You should go home to rest comfortably after your procedure.

In the days immediately following your surgery, you may experience some itching and mild discomfort, as well as fluid drainage. These symptoms will lessen and disappear over time. You will also likely find that your eye is more sensitive to touch, and sensitive to bright lights right after your surgery, but these symptoms should also go away. Some patients report that colors seem brighter after cataract surgery. That's an expected benefit, since you are no longer looking through a cloudy lens.

The total time needed to heal from cataract surgery is usually about eight weeks, although you should be seeing clearly again within just a few days. During this healing period, your doctor will want to see you for follow-up exams to monitor your progress.

Contact New Vision Eye Center to Learn More

At New Vision Eye Center in Vero Beach, we are proud to offer the gentlest and most-advanced technology for our laser cataract removal surgeries. To find out more about cataracts and how laser surgery can help restore your vision, call our world class eye care center today at 772-257-8700, or contact us online.