What To Expect After Cataract Surgery

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Last updated 9/30/2019
Cataract Recovery: what to expect, Assil Eye Institute

Cataract surgery recovery 

Thanks to advances in technology, cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgical procedures on the planet, with over 19 million cataract surgeries performed annually. At Assil Eye Institute, our physicians perform state-of-the art cataract surgery that takes about 10 minutes per eye. As long as you have good health and don't have other major eye conditions, your recovery should go smoothly.

 

You will have an appointment to see your surgeon on the day following your procedure to make sure that you are progressing as expected. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to apply several times daily for a period of time following surgery. It is essential that you take your eye drops exactly as your doctor has prescribed in order to obtain the best possible outcome. These drops contain antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory ingredients that will promote healing and protect your eye from infections.

 

You will also be given a handout sheet outlining the activities that you are allowed to do and which you should avoid for a time following your cataract surgery. These recommendations have been developed over many years and following them is important to a successful recovery. 

Immediately following cataract surgery

 

Immediately following your surgery, you'll be asked to rest in the recovery area for 30 minutes or so until your eye drop anesthesia wears off. You must have someone available to drive you home following your procedure and you must also have someone available to drive for you, if needed, for 24 hours after surgery.

 

Your doctor will place a protective shield over your eye and instruct you to wear it at night for the first week after surgery. This is to keep you from accidently rubbing your eye and inadvertently scratching it while you sleep. You will also be given a pair of sunglasses to wear on the trip home that will protect your eye from bright light and glare.

 

If you're tired when you get home, you might want to rest in bed for a while. Depending on your surgeon's advice, you may be required to keep your eye shield on continuously for one or more days after surgery or only while in bed at night or during naps for the first week post-op.

 

While many people report having clear vision within hours of their cataract surgery, everyone heals at a different pace and you may need as long as a week or two after surgery before you can see with sharp focus.

  

Days after your cataract surgery

Immediately after your procedure, it is normal for your vision to be blurry because your eye needs to heal and adjust to the new lens. During this period, some people might see wavy or distorted images for brief periods of time. It's also not unusual for you to have tearing and to feel some mild discomfort and itchiness in your operated eye. These symptoms should disappear after a few days.

  

Following surgery, you might also have bloodshot eyes because of temporary damage that occurs to small blood vessels in the whites of your eye during surgery. This is normal and will resolve quickly. If anesthesia was injected through the skin near your eye prior to surgery, you might notice a small area of bruising which will also disappear in several days.

 

Your sight will start to improve within a few days. Colors may seem brighter because you're looking through a clear lens. There are some people, particularly multifocal lens patients, who may experience glare and halos around lights at night. These symptoms should resolve over days to weeks.

 

What to expect the weeks following cataract surgery

You will be scheduled for additional follow ups with your surgeon one week and one month after surgery so that your recovery can be closely monitored. Most patients are completely healed with stable vision from 8 to 10 weeks following cataract surgery. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second surgery is usually scheduled after the first eye has healed.

 

Many people need glasses for at least some time following cataract surgery. Based on your healing progress, your doctor will let you know when you're ready to be fitted for eyeglasses (typically one to three months post-op). It's important to know that you will need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes on bright days for at least one year following your surgery.

 

Call our office immediately if, at any time following surgery, you experience any of the following symptoms:

    • Newly occurring light flashes or many floating spots in front of your eye
    • Worsening eye pain
    • Your eyesight is getting worse
    • There is no decrease in swelling or redness
    • You develop discharge from your eye
    • Nausea, vomiting or fever

 

While complications following cataract surgery are extremely rare, they have been known to occur. That's why prompt follow up of worrisome symptoms should not be taken lightly.

 

AEI'S approach to preparing you for surgery

It's understandable for folks to feel some anxiety when considering any surgery, especially when it involves your vision. That is why, at AEI, we make a special effort to spend as much time as you need explaining your surgery to you and addressing your concerns.

 

In fact, we encourage you to bring a family member or friend along to your pre-op visit so that they can ask questions that you may have overlooked. Because we have found that people tend to forget details when they're nervous, bringing someone to your pre-op visit allows them to help refresh your memory later. That said, you are encouraged to ask us questions right up until the time you sit in the procedure chair because that is your right as our patient!

 

At AEI we're committed to making your cataract surgery and recovery go as smoothly as possible and are honored to have you entrust your sight to us.

 

The Assil Eye Institute Cataract Care Advantage

When you select Assil Eye Institute for your cataract removal, you will benefit not only from our state-of-the-art laser technology and our physicians' experience but also from our commitment to:

 

Employing the most comprehensive pre-operative testing available today in order to ensure the greatest surgical accuracy, by using multiple measuring systems to measure eye power and replacement lens size.

 

Utilizing micro incisional technology to facilitate faster corneal healing and recovery time. This technology permits cataract removal through a 2mm opening (most other centers are using entry sites which are approximately 50% larger).

 

Operating using leading edge “cold” and “ellipse” ultrasound technology, which Dr. Assil's research has demonstrated results in less post-op intraocular swelling, providing greater safety, efficacy and faster visual recovery for our patients.

 

Offering the most comprehensive inventory of Intraocular lenses available today, to ensure the best product type and shape match for your eye.

 

Dedicating ourselves to your care. Your surgeon will remain personally involved in your post-operative examinations throughout your healing. While full visual recovery may take several weeks to stabilize, most people see better and resume all normal activities the day after surgery.

 

 

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