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What to Expect

What to Expect with Cataract Surgery

Before Surgery
Once you have decided to have your cataract removed, detailed measurements of your eyes are obtained prior to surgery. This is a very simple process. A low level laser scans you eye and measures it. At this visit we will also review the medicines you take and drug allergies.

The Day of Surgery
Surgery is done on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to skip breakfast, depending on the time of your surgery. Upon arrival for surgery, you will be given eye drops, and perhaps medications to help you relax. A local anesthetic will make the operation painless. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. You will be in the operating room for about 15 minutes. You will not feel any pain. You will find it comfortable and not treating. Though you may see light and movement, you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening, and will not have to worry about keeping your eye open or closed. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. You should plan to have someone else drive you home.

Following Surgery

Use eye drops as prescribed
Be careful not to rub your eye
You can drive the next day
Use over-the-counter pain medicine if necessary
Continue normal daily activities
Enjoy your new vision
 
Pre-existing conditions
Even if the surgery itself is successful, the eye may still not see as well as you would like. Other problems with the eye, such as macular degeneration (aging of the retina), glaucoma, and diabetic damage may limit vision after surgery. Even with such problems, cataract surgery may still be worthwhile. If the eye is healthy, the chances are excellent that you will have good vision following removal of your cataract.