Cataract Surgery: What To Expect During And After Your Eye Procedure

Seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis for checkups can help detect early vision changes and eye diseases before they progress and rob you of your vision. Cataract formation makes the lenses of your eyes appear opaque or cloudy. If you have cataracts, you may experience blurred or double vision and bright colors may seem dull. You may have trouble seeing at night and you might see halos when looking at bright lights. While changing the prescription of your glasses may temporarily help improve your vision, the improvement may be only temporary. Conversely, cataract surgery can provide a more permanent solution to restoring your vision. Here are some things to expect both during and after your eye procedure.

During Your Cataract Surgery

Minimally invasive eye procedures such as cataract surgery are typically performed in an outpatient setting such as a surgical center. During your surgery, your eye doctor will remove the cloudy lens (cataract) from your eye and replace it with a plastic lens. This lens is called an intraocular lens implant and is typically made out of acrylic or silicone.

Your eye doctor may use stitches to close the tiny incision in your eye after the lens has been implanted. You will be awake during your procedure because cataract surgery is typically performed with a local anesthetic as opposed to general anesthesia. In the operating room, your blood pressure, heart rate, and respirations will be monitored closely and any changes in your vital signs will be addressed immediately. 

After Surgery

Following your cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will place a plastic or metal shield over the affected eye to protect it from injury during the healing process. You will remain at the outpatient facility for up to an hour postoperatively. Before your eye doctor discharges you from the surgical center, they will give you an instruction sheet that will inform you of the things you will need to do once you get home. These include avoiding strenuous activities and using your eye drops to help keep your intraocular pressure from rising too high.

You should not experience any pain following your surgery, however, you may notice some mild irritation or itching. Your postoperative eye examination will usually be scheduled for the following day when your eye doctor will examine your eyes and assess your vision.

If you develop symptoms of cataracts, visit your eye doctor. After they perform a comprehensive examination and confirm your diagnosis, they will discuss the benefits of having your cataracts removed. Early treatment will help ensure that you enjoy clearer vision for years to come.