What To Expect During Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery consists of the replacement of a clouded lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). We use a local anesthetic to numb your eye so your pain level should be minimal during the procedure. You’ll be awake but sleepy during surgery and you won’t be able to see what’s happening in your eye.
During surgery, you lie on your back and look at a bright light and receive local anesthesia from our board certified anesthesiologists. We first start by creating a tiny incision in your eye near the edge of your cornea. Then we emulsify the cataract using ultrasound. We then remove the emulsified material of your old lens through the tiny incision and install your new, clear intraocular lens. This part of the procedure takes about 15 minutes, but you’ll be in the office longer to prepare your eye for surgery and afterward for a brief recovery period. Our patients worry about seeing things or feeling unpleasant sensations. Almost all patients do not feel discomfort or even remember very much about cataract surgery.
Is Cataract Surgery Safe?
Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures conducted. Each year, more than 4 million Americans and 20 million people worldwide undergo surgery to remove cataracts. These surgeries are among the safest in modern medicine. They allow millions of patients to regain a higher quality of life thanks to clearer vision. The cataract specialists at SightMD strive to give our patients the very best results in every clinical setting.
In routine cataract surgery, our board-certified eye surgeons perform cataract surgery through microscopic incisions using eye drops and IV sedation to numb the surface of the eye. Our patients stay in their own clothes and return home a short time after completion of the cataract surgery. We do not routinely use needles, stitches or even an eye patch following surgery.
Recovery from Cataract Surgery
Once your new IOL is in place, it becomes a permanent part of your eye and provides improved vision for the long term. After cataract surgery, you won’t be able to drive right away, so be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to take you home. Since doctors perform this one eye at a time, it may take several weeks before your eyes feel normal after the procedure. Mild discomfort, including itchiness or slight but persistent pain, is possible following cataract surgery. Additionally, there may be some degree of fluid discharge, and the eyes will be sensitive to light and touch for a couple of days after treatment. To reduce such discomfort and promote healing, medicating eye drops are prescribed. You may experience distorted vision as your eyes get used to the artificial lens put in the eye. It may take up to a month before your eyes are completely adjusted.
During recovery, it is important to follow all instructions given to you by your cataract surgeon. Letting your eyes fully heal is the most important step when you are recovering from cataract surgery. You should do your best to keep water out of your eyes. When showering, do your best to keep water out of your eyes by keeping them closed.
Can I Exercise After Surgery?
You should also avoid any strenuous activities that may increase your eye pressure. This includes intense exercising, bending over at the waist, and any contact sports, at least for the first week. Your doctor at SightMD will give you a full list of instructions on how best to begin the recovery process after cataract surgery.
Complications After Surgery
Complications related to cataract surgery include:
· loss of vision
· double vision
· pressure on the eye
These are rare and can be avoided through expert care and precise planning. Patients can return to normal activities within a couple of days; complete healing may require up to four weeks.
Better Vision After Cataract Surgery
If you suffer from a cataract (or two), and require surgery to correct the condition, you likely are experiencing compromised vision. Through cataract surgery and the use of intraocular lenses, your vision can be dramatically improved. Because a cataract is a clouding of the lens, vision can’t be corrected using eyeglasses or contact lenses. Cataract surgery with IOLs restores the clarity of vision lost through the passage of time. The impact such improved vision can have on a person’s life is hard to qualify.