Procedure and Recovery
What to Expect Before, During, and After Cataract Surgery
Dr. Frank and Dr. Gupta perform cataract surgery at the Palisades Eye Surgery Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon arrival at the surgery center, an intravenous line is placed in the arm. Drops are placed in the eye to numb it and to dilate the pupil. You will then be brought into the operating room, where the skin around your eye will be carefully cleaned and your face covered with a very light, sterile paper drape. You will be given medication through your IV, which will keep you calm, relaxed, and comfortable. General anesthesia, through which you are completely unconscious, is not used, as it is rarely needed. A small instrument is placed to gently hold your eyelids open and a surgical microscope is positioned over your eye. You will see a bright light and will be encouraged to look in its direction. A high-tech ultrasonic probe will be used to dissolve the cloudy cataract lens, which is then replaced with the new, artificial lens. The operation will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You will then be taken to the recovery room for approximately 20 minutes, after which time you will be ready to go home.
What Is the Recovery Following the Cataract Surgery?
Initially, the eye will feel scratchy and vision will be very blurry. Seeing halos of light is also common following the surgery. The vision often begins to clear rapidly during the next few days. However, in some cases it may take several weeks to obtain maximum vision. As with any surgery, the healing period will vary depending on the individual characteristics of each cataract patient.
How Active Can I Be After Cataract Surgery?
In general, you may resume everyday activity such as walking, reading, watching TV, etc. We will advise you when it is safe to drive. It is not unusual to resume driving and return to work two days after cataract surgery; however, this is variable. You should not lift more than 20 pounds for 2 weeks after surgery. Your eye will be examined in the office one day, one week, and one month after surgery, unless otherwise specified by the doctor. Occasionally, more frequent follow-up visits are needed. Your eyeglass prescription will be different after surgery and will be changed in approximately one month if you desire a new pair of prescription glasses.
Success Rate of Cataract Surgery
Thanks to the many advances in cataract surgery and technology, we can safely restore excellent vision in almost all of our cataract patients. Continuous innovations in techniques and instruments have made the procedure safer than ever and one of the most successful operations in medicine.