How Long Does It Take to Remove a Cataract? - SightMD Skip to main content

February 17, 2023

By: Jordan Garelick, MD

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Cataract?

close up image of an eye

Cataracts sometimes start to develop in a person’s eye lens as they get older (age-related cataracts), stopping some of the light from reaching the retina. Although cataracts are often associated with age, in rare cases babies are born with cataracts or young children can develop them (childhood cataracts). Cataract surgery is a procedure used to treat cataracts where changes in the lens of the eye cause cloudy, blurry or misty vision. The lens is the crystalline structure that sits just behind your pupil, which is the black circle in the center of your eye. Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, making it difficult to see clearly.

How long does cataract surgery take?

Cataract surgery is a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure performed under local anesthetic, which means you’ll be awake during the procedure and can go home on the same day. During cataract surgery, your surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye so that the cloudy lens can be removed. After it’s been removed, it is replaced with a small plastic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

What can I expect during recovery from cataract surgery?

Although it can take up to four to eight weeks to fully recover from cataract surgery, most people will notice their vision begin to improve much sooner, and typically there should little pain or discomfort during this period. You’ll have some follow-up appointments with your provider during this time. About 9 out of 10 people see better after cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures and has helped restore clear vision to thousands of patients. If you have any further questions about cataracts or cataract surgery, feel free to reach out to the eye care professionals at SightMD. And, if you have in fact been diagnosed with cataracts, you can feel safe and confident in undergoing this procedure at one of our conveniently situated locations. (With over 60 offices, we guarantee that there is a SightMD location near you.) Contact us to learn more.