How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can only be corrected with surgery. At Elmquist Eye Group, our cataract doctors are leading the standard in cataract care, so if you are wondering how to prepare for cataract surgery, come in and discuss the procedure with us. During cataract surgery, we replace your cloudy cataract-affected lens with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL).

Why do people develop cataracts?

How to Prepare for Cataract SurgeryMost people think that cataracts are a disease but, really, cataracts form as a normal part of aging. As most people reach age 60, the proteins in the eye begin to break down, clump on the lens, and cloud your vision. In fact, about half of all people over age 60 have cataracts. By the time people reach age 75, the cataracts are likely causing significant vision interference. You’re not alone, though, because more than 25 million Americans have some degree of cataract.

What is the surgery like?

We use a technique called phacoemulsification to remove a cataract. We only perform surgery on one eye at a time, and the procedure is an outpatient procedure. The surgeon uses an instrument to apply high-energy sound waves to break the cataract into small pieces so it can be removed. Our phacoemulsification technology allows us to make a minimal incision and to remove the cataract rapidly. The surgeon creates a self-sealing “no stitch” incision that heals rapidly.

How can I best prepare for the surgery?

Before surgery, we will do extensive eye tests to make sure you are a good candidate for cataract surgery and to determine the optimal IOL implant to suit your needs. We use a painless ultrasound instrument to get the exact measurements we need to properly fit your new lens. We will ask you about any medications or supplements you are taking so that we can determine whether those will cause any issues for the surgery. We may prescribe antibiotic eye drops and ask you to use them a couple of days before the surgery.

We ask that you not eat or drink 12 hours prior to your surgery, and we may ask you to stop taking certain medications to reduce the risk of bleeding. Someone will need to drive you home from the procedure. We will send you home with numbing eye drops as well as antibiotic eye drops. We ask that you rest for a couple of days after the surgery, and have someone help you out at home for a couple of days. Also, arrange for help around home because you have to limit bending and lifting for about a week post-surgery.

Your eyes may be more sensitive or itchy for a couple of days as they heal. Usually, by day three, most of our patients are back to their normal routines like reading or watching television (in moderation, of course).

The day after the procedure, you’ll need to come into the office for a checkup so our doctors can check for proper healing. Most of our patients return to work within two to five days after surgery, and you can resume most of your normal activities in just a few days.

Come to Elmquist

If you know you have cataracts or suspect you do, come see our exceptional surgeons at Elmquist Eye Group. Our board-certified surgeons offer patients the latest advancements in eye care. We are ready to discuss how to prepare for your cataract surgery, so give us a call today.