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Cataract Surgery: What to Expect

How Do You Prepare for Cataract Surgery?

Cataract patient before surgerySince cataract surgery is such a common procedure, you’ve no doubt heard about it. You may even have friends or family who’ve already had it.

It can be as daunting as any surgery. Hearing about anyone who’s experienced a tough time recovering can make you more nervous.

But there’s no reason to fear! Proper preparation can ensure both your surgery and recovery will go smoothly. Just be sure to do a few key things before your surgery date:

Talk to your doctor and choose an IOL together

Deciding what kind of IOL you want can be tricky, but your doctor can help! Have an honest conversation about your needs.

You should discuss what you want to get out of the surgery so you and your doctor can choose your IOL together.

Have a ride to and from surgery

While cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, you’ll receive numbing eye drops. This means you can’t drive home after.

Have a friend or family member on hand to take you to and from surgery. It can also be helpful to have them stick around to help you out the first day after surgery.

You’ll want to take it easy and avoid chores like cleaning and cooking while recovering.

Take time off from work

During your recovery, it can be difficult to work due to your recovering vision. Your doctor will be able to tell you how long you’ll need to take things easy but expect to at least take a few days.

You won’t need bed rest during this time, but it’s important to take enough time to rest. This is crucial to your recovery process. You should be able to get back to your normal activities after a day or two.

Prepare medications for your recovery

Your doctor will prescribe medications to take before and after surgery. Be sure to take medications as instructed.

You should have a plan to get postoperative medications filled and picked up.

You may also want to have some mild OTC pain meds on hand, like acetaminophen. Avoid stronger medications like ibuprofen unless you really struggle with pain.

It’s unlikely you’ll be in any intense pain following surgery. Patients tend to feel some slight discomfort for a while.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

Cataract surgery takes about 30 minutes but expect to spend a couple hours at the surgery center. Most of this time will be to complete any prep before surgery.

After surgery, you’ll need to recover before being sent home.

What Kind of Anesthetic is Used?

Your doctor will give you a mild sedative to keep you calm during surgery, but you’ll stay awake. Thanks to numbing eye drops, you won’t feel any pain during cataract surgery.

How Do You Care for Your Eyes After Surgery?

Caring for your eye after surgery is key to having a successful recovery. But it isn’t hard to do if you follow your doctor’s instructions and keep your eyes protected. Be sure to do the following:

Avoid strenuous activity:

This includes heavy lifting and exercise. Your doctor will tell you when you can get back to such activities, usually after a couple weeks.

Keep your eye protected from water, dust, and particles:

Avoid getting any contaminants in your eye including water. Be sure to avoid getting water near your face, especially in the shower.

You may not realize it, but water is the perfect place for bacteria to breed. Also be sure to wear sunglasses whenever you go outside. Your eyes will be more sensitive than usual after cataract surgery.

Wear your protective eye shield at night:

You will leave the doctors with an eye shield. You won’t have to wear it all the time, but you should at least wear it at night to avoid rubbing your eye against your pillow.

Your doctor will probably have you do this for a week or two.

Take medications as instructed by your doctor:

Continue to take any medications as instructed. Do not miss doses! Keeping up with eye drops and medications is vital. It’s the only way to avoid infection and complications.

Have more questions about what to expect before, during, and after cataract surgery? Huffman & Huffman, P.S.C. is here to help!

Schedule a consultation with us today! There’s no reason to be afraid of cataract surgery when you’re in our capable hands.

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