Prepare for Cataract Eye Surgery: Before, During, and After
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, you may be a strong candidate for cataract eye surgery. Put simply, a cataract is the inner clouding of the eye’s lens that can lead to a decrease in vision. This type of vision impairment is largely detected during a medical eye examination by your eye doctor.
Cataract surgery typically takes no longer than 30 minutes to complete, but if you need to have cataracts in both eyes removed, you’ll likely undergo two separate procedures. As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to know what you can expect before, during and after cataracts surgery.
Before Cataracts Surgery
Cataracts can be diagnosed through a series of tests enabling the doctor to see how much a cataract may be affecting your vision. The majority of cataracts develop gradually over time as we get older, which means vision loss or impairment isn’t noticed right away. So, when you’ve decided to move forward with cataract corrective surgery, your doctor will likely be able to tell you what type of results you can expect from eye surgery. Cataracts are typically removed by a procedure called
“Phacoemulsification” also known as small incision cataract surgery. Phacoemulsification utilizes a computerized ultrasound device inserted through a small probe placed through an incision in the side of the cornea. The ultrasound waves break-up the eye lens so the pieces can be removed through suction. The incision is ‘self-sealing’ and very small, so no stitches are needed.
During Cataracts Surgery
Your doctor will first place eyedrops in your eye to dilate your pupil. For numbing purposes, you’ll be given a local anesthesia, and a sedative will help you relax. Normally a small IV is used for a short time in order to give any relaxing medication intravenously.
During the actual cataracts surgery, your clouded lens will be removed and an artificial lens will be placed within the eye. After the cataract is removed through phacoemulsification, and the replacement lens is inserted.
The implanted lens will be made of surgical grade acrylic or silicone, and requires no upkeep or cleaning on your part. You will not be able to see or feel the artificial lens. Newer-technology lens implants are often used today to allow patients a greater depth of focus, so that they can see both far away and closer up without depending on glasses nearly as much or at all.
Astigmatism is often corrected at the same time as your cataract procedure, in order to give patients a better visual outcome. The correction of astigmatism is done on the front lens of your eye, or the cornea, in order to give it a more perfect shape so that it can focus light more clearly for you.
After Cataracts Surgery
Vision in cataracts surgery patients typically begins to improve within a day or two after days of the procedure. Although your vision may be blurry at first, the transition to see clearly should quickly begin. You’ll likely have an immediate follow-up appointment with your eye doctor who performed the cataracts surgery, so if you have any questions regarding care or what to expect, you’ll be able to address them then.
Eyedrops or other medication may be prescribed by your doctor to prevent infection and to help you to heal after surgery. In addition, your doctor may require you to wear an eye patch or protective shield the day of the procedure.
- Do not rub your eye(s)
- Mild burning or itching within a couple days of surgery is normal
- Blurry vision the day of surgery is typical
- Vision gradually improves, and should be noticeably better the day after surgery
- Report all unusual side effects to your doctor
- Many patients need glasses, at least part-time, post-surgery
Your doctor will let you know when your eyes have healed enough for you to get a final prescription for eyeglasses.
Myrtle Beach Cataract Surgery
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts it is important to come see us right away. We can offer the best timeline and options for treatment. Our goal is to ensure that your vision is the best it can be so that you can enjoy the simplest pleasures in life! Call today for an appointment.