Cataract Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Thanks to numbing drops and medications to help you relax, this procedure involves minimal discomfort. It is normal to experience some soreness for the first 24-48 hours after surgery, but severe pain is rare and should be reported to your doctor right away.
Since this procedure does not take very long, it is unnecessary to put you to sleep with general anesthesia. Instead, we will use topical/local anesthesia to numb the eye and IV sedation is given to make sure that you are comfortable. You will be awake and able to respond to the surgeon and staff if needed.
No, only one eye will be operated on at a time. Typically, we will perform surgery on the second eye two to three weeks after the first eye.
The surgery itself is very quick and usually lasts less than 15 minutes. However, due to pre-operative preparation and brief post-op recovery, your entire stay at the surgical center will be between 1.5 to 2 hours.
No, your vision will be blurry in the operative eye, and you have had anesthesia and are not suitable for driving. You must arrange for transportation to and from surgery.
We use the most modern technique for lens implant surgery, which involves a tiny incision that self-seals and does not usually require a stitch. If a stitch is needed it will be removed at your day one post op or week one post op visit. It is not necessary to wear a patch on the operative eye to keep it closed. You will have the ability to blink and close your eyelids. You do have a shield to wear when sleeping for the first 3 days to keep you from rubbing your eye.
Every patient is different, but most patients commonly start to see improvement the day after surgery.
Most patients can resume normal basic activities like reading and watching TV by the next day and return to work within two to seven days. However, results vary for different patients, so you should ask your doctor if you have questions about specific activities. We recommend that the patient avoid rubbing the eye, engaging in activities like sports where an object could hit the eye, and getting dust, dirt, or sand into the eye for 1 week. We also advise you to avoid swimming for two weeks after surgery. You may exercise if you avoid letting sweat run directly in your eyes.
Yes, you may shower, bathe, and wash your hair the day of your surgery. Take precautions to prevent soap and water from getting into your eyes. Also, we advise no eye make-up for 1 week.
Yes, just advise your stylist of your recent eye surgery and to take precautions to prevent any chemicals, water or hairspray from getting into your eyes.
Your ability to drive at night should be much enhanced once your cataract is removed. Most patients notice halos and starbursts around lights for the first few nights after surgery. These are typically mild, rarely bothersome, and tend to diminish with time.
It is not possible for a cataract to “grow back” because the lens where the cataract forms has been removed and replaced. In some patients, a cloudy film can form behind the implant on the lens capsule membrane, usually a few months after the original cataract surgery. This condition is called “posterior capsule opacification”, or a “secondary cataract” Treatment of this film can safely and quickly restore vision by creating an opening in the capsule with a specialized laser in the office. This restorative procedure takes just a few minutes, is painless, and typically never needs to be repeated.