Cataract Surgery: Answers To Common Questions

Cataracts slowly rob you of your vision, causing the world to dim out gradually. Fortunately, you aren't helpless if this occurs. Most people get cataracts eventually, and removal and replacement of the damaged lens is a common procedure. The following can help answer your questions on cataract eye surgery.

Is this an outpatient procedure?

Cataract removal is almost always performed as an outpatient procedure. It is only considered a minor surgery or procedure, so there is no need for a hospital stay. Generally, the entire procedure takes less than half an hour. You can expect to only spend about three hours at the doctor's office when you are having the procedure performed.

Is one put under for surgery?

You will not be anesthetized completely for cataract surgery. You will be given medication to relax and calm you, and the eye being worked upon will be completely numb. The lack of complete anesthesia is part of the reason why this procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis.

How much discomfort is there during the procedure?

There will be very little discomfort. The numbing is quite thorough, so you will feel nothing even when the technician is holding your eye open. At most, you may feel some pressure, but there won't be any pain.

Will there be any pain or discomfort following the procedure?

You shouldn't feel severe pain or discomfort following the procedure. Some people do feel slight discomfort, but you can avoid this and relieve it if it does occur by simply following your doctor's post-procedure care advice. If you feel major pain or discomfort, you need to contact your doctor immediately.

How long is recovery?

Recovery for cataract surgery is in gradual stages. You will notice vision improvements quickly, but it may take two weeks or more for your vision to stabilize. For this reason, you should avoid tasks like driving for the first few days following your procedure.

Are there post-surgery restrictions?

There are some restrictions to ensure your eye begins to heal. Your doctor may tell you to limit activities that cause eye strain, like reading or watching television, for 24 hours. You should also avoid eye makeup or any activities where something, like soap, could get into your eye for at least several days. Bright light can also be irritating at first, so wear sun protection on your eyes if you must go outside.

Contact your doctor to discuss any further cataract eye surgery questions you may have.