close up of womans eye

Cataract surgery patients often worry about what may happen if they blink during the procedure. Although this is an understandable concern, there is no need to worry!

What should I expect before, during and after my cataract surgery?

Before your cataract surgery:

You will be asked to arrive approximately 60 minutes prior to your procedure time. This gives our technicians a chance to perform any necessary testing and our nursing team plenty of time to meet with you before the surgery. In the pre-op area, our nurses will prepare you for the procedure and answer any questions you may have, along with our anesthetist, and your doctor. A light sedation will be administered for Cataract surgery to help you relax.

In the Operating Room, the area around your eye will be cleansed, and drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil (this drop is given in the Preop area). Your doctor will also place numbing eye drops in your eye to act as an anesthetic. As you blink, the drops spread over your eye, numbing the surface. This allows you to feel no pain or discomfort during the surgery. When the eye is completely numb, an instrument will be used to hold your eye open while the procedure is completed. This instrument ensures that you will not blink during cataract surgery.

During your cataract surgery:

During cataract surgery, our doctors remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens – IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility. The procedure itself usually lasts less than 15 minutes and is virtually painless.

This routine procedure begins with your surgeon making a small incision using a tiny instrument (about the size of a pen tip) to access the clouded, natural lens. The natural, cloudy lens is broken up using high-frequency ultrasound and then gently removed by suction. At this point, an intraocular lens implant is placed, and the procedure is complete. Fun fact –  the incision is so tiny that stitches are not necessary following the surgery!

After your cataract surgery:

After your surgery is complete, you will be monitored in the post-op area for approximately 20  minutes, be given something to drink, and then our team will call your designated driver and let them know you are ready to be picked up. Patients are then free to return home to rest in comfort and avoid the inconvenience and expense of a hospital stay. We also recommend that you have someone with you for the remainder of the day, just in case you don’t feel well after your surgery. 

During your recovery following Cataract Surgery:

  • Use your medicated eye drops as directed.
  • You may notice light sensitivity and excessive tearing for a few days.
  • Avoid prolonged bending or stooping for two days.
  • Refrain from lifting anything greater than 20 pounds for one week.
  • Avoid pools, saunas, hot tubs, or any contaminated water for two weeks.
  • Refrain from wearing eye makeup for two weeks.
  • Daily activities such as driving, and reading can usually be resumed almost immediately.

Concerned you may have cataracts?

If you’re concerned you may be affected, we recommend scheduling an evaluation with one of our cataract specialists. If cataract surgery is indeed recommended, your surgeon will discuss your visual goals following the procedure. It’s possible you may be eligible for an upgraded intraocular lens or vision package if you wish to become less dependent upon glasses or contacts following the procedure.

To see if you’d be a likely candidate for one of our upgraded lenses or vision packages, you’re welcome to take advantage of our free online screening.