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Cataract Help

Cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you should plan to go home the same day as the surgery. Your cataract surgery experience will probably take about one to two hours. Most likely, you will be awake during surgery, but don’t worry—your surgery team will make you feel comfortable.

  • You may be given a medicine called a sedative to help you relax.

  • You will receive eye drops or an injection that numbs your eye and other eye drops that dilate your pupil.

  • Your surgeon will use very small instruments to break up the lens with the cataract and insert an intraocular lens into your eye.

What To Expect

From Cataract Surgery?


What is a cataract?

  • A cataract forms when the natural lens that you are born with becomes cloudy.

  • This is most often age-related, but can happen due to trauma or medication use.

  • The cloudy lens will cause the vision to get worse over time.


How do I know I'm ready?

  • Cataracts can be anywhere from mild to severe

  • You may have symptoms like blurry vision, trouble driving, difficulty reading, or significant nighttime glare

  • A person is likely ready if they are having a hard time with their normal daily activities

  • Is it hard to drive at night due to glare? You may be ready.

  • Your doctor will determine if you qualify for surgery

  • The IMAGE to the right is of a severe cataract


How is it removed?

  • An ultrasound probe is used to break the cataract into small pieces

  • The cataract is removed from the eye through a small tube

  • This process is called phacoemulsification

  • A laser can also be used to aid in the procedure

  • Talk to your doctor about standard vs laser


Why do I need an intraocular lens?

  • A cataract is your natural lens that has become cloudy

  • When a cataract is removed, an artificial lens must replace it in order to have good vision

  • This is shown in the animation to the right

  • There are many different types of artificial lenses available to you today

  • Review them in the LENS SECTION

  • You and your doctor will make the final decision


Recovery & Results

  • Recovery is quick (1-2 days) for most

  • Others may need to wait a week to a month for their final results

  • Patients with severe cataracts take longer to heal

  • Visual results are generally very good, but perfection is not guaranteed

  • Most surgeons get the expected result 75-80% of the time

  • This has to do with limitations in our technology

Elderly Recovering from Cataract Surgery
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