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How To Prepare For A Smooth Cataract Surgery Recovery

We’ve written before about the specific preparations to make leading up to your cataract surgery, and wanted to share some additional information. After all, knowing how to prepare for eye surgery is an important part of making your recovery even more smooth and effective. To help you out, here’s a look at what to do before cataract surgery and cataract recovery tips.

The Week Before

Generally speaking, most patients need to stop taking blood thinning medications three days before their surgery. If you take any other medications, be sure to discuss them with your doctor so they can advise you about how to proceed.

You’ll also be asked to fast for anywhere from six to 12 hours prior to your procedure’s start time, so make sure to hydrate well and eat something nutritious before the fasting window begins. Additionally, some patients are given antibiotic eye drops to use in the day or two leading up to the surgery; your doctor will let you know if you need them.

Hopefully with a week or less to go, you’ll have planned for a ride home from the facility. But if not, now is the time to make sure you have a plan in place to get home safely without you needing to drive.

Finally, look at your calendar. Do you have plans the day of your surgery? Are you supposed to work the day after? If at all possible, clear your calendar for a couple days post-op. While you should be able to do most normal things shortly after surgery, it’s best to give your body time to sleep, rest and heal before diving back into normal life.

The Day Of The Surgery

As you get ready on the morning of your procedure, dress casually and refrain from using makeup or perfume. Leave early, so you’ll still be at the facility in plenty of time no matter the traffic 

conditions. Be ready to discuss any final questions with your doctor prior to the surgery beginning, since you may forget them afterward.

Additionally, be prepared to have some jitters. It’s completely normal to feel nervous before a medical procedure, and most patients do. Just remind yourself that cataract surgery is generally very safe, and take some deep, calming breaths as you wait. If you practice meditation, you can even use your time in the waiting room to get into a peaceful state of mind. This is especially helpful if you tend to get anxious in medical situations, have high blood pressure or both.

Immediately after the procedure, you’ll be given an eye patch or protective shield to wear for the day. Your vision may be blurry at first, but you should be seeing more clearly within a few days. Take care not to rub your eyes, even if they’re itchy, as you recover. Also, expect colors to appear brighter in the days following the procedure.


We hope these cataract recovery tips will help you plan out how to prepare for eye surgery and have the easiest time healing afterward. Contact us with any questions or to schedule a cataract exam!