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Top Questions to Ask about Cataract Surgery

So you’ve scheduled your cataract removal surgery, and understand the importance of having the procedure done sooner rather than later. But do you have all the information you need to be fully prepared before, during, and after the surgery takes place? Read on for questions to ask and what to expect.

 Questions to Ask in Pre-Surgery Consultation

 When you meet with your eye surgeon to talk about your upcoming surgery, it’s important to ask all questions you have (even those you might think are silly). Be sure to mention anything that comes to mind, like if you’ve been known to get queasy or faint around medical stimuli or if you’re unsure whether or not you can eat or drink prior to the procedure. Your doctor will answer any questions you have, and will be glad to have as much information as possible about your mindset and physical health.

 Your surgeon should have explained to you at this point what specific kind of cataract you have (there are three common types) and what method of surgery will be used. If they haven’t covered this with you, be sure to ask about both so you understand your exact situation.

Additionally, ask the surgical coordinator:

  • When should I arrive the day of the surgery?
  • Should I arrange to have someone drive me (and also pick up my RX)?
  • When will I need to come back in for a follow up?
  • Are there any restrictions to be followed after surgery?

 Once you have answers to all these questions, and any others that have come to mind, you should feel very comfortable with the cataract surgery procedure and what to expect.

What Cataract Surgery is Actually Like

The first step of a cataract surgery is that your doctor will give you eye drops to dilate the pupil, as well as a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, the cloudy cataract lens will be removed by one of three ways. Your eye doctor may use ultrasound technology to break up the tissue and then suction it out. Improved technology uses a laser to make an incision and break up the cataract and then then it is removed.  Very rarely, surgical tools could be used to make an incision and take out the cataract in one piece. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is implanted. 

You might feel discomfort during the procedure, but it’s known to be mostly painless. The entire surgery should last only about 10 minutes, but with time for pre and post op  care, expect to be there for about two to three hours the day of the cataract surgery.

Best Recovery Tips

 Even though you may want to jump right back into normal life, you need to give your eyes and entire body time to heal from the surgery. Two of the best rules of thumb to stick to during recovery is to avoid driving on the first day and do not do any heavy lifting for a few weeks. 

Also, avoid swimming or using a hot tub for the first week or two so your eyes don’t become vulnerable to an infection. As much as you can, keep your eyes away from wind, dust and any known allergens. This will help speed up recovery time and limit the likelihood that you’ll rub your eyes or sneeze (two things that can put undue strain on your eyes).

Remembering to ask the questions mentioned above, and knowing what to expect during your surgery and after, will help you have a smooth procedure. Contact us if you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a consultation regarding your cataract surgery options.