Cataract Surgery Facts
Cataracts usually occur in older patients and in people with diabetes; the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, making vision increasingly difficult. Cataract eye surgery usually involves removing the cloudy lens from the eye. If you are discussing cataract surgery as a form of treatment, there are several things to be aware of before undergoing this type of surgery. In many cases, an intraocular lens implant is used to replace the removed cloudy lens, so that the patient can see more clearly. Your eye surgeon will thoroughly examine the damaged lens and determine whether or not the patient is a good candidate for a successful cataract surgery, and whether or not the intraocular implant will be used.
Prior to Cataract Surgery
Prior to undergoing cataract eye surgery, your doctor will need information regarding the patient’s medical history and may ask about any medications that are being taken; depending on which medications are being taken, the patient may be asked to temporarily stop taking them in order to better prepare for a successful surgery.
During Cataract Surgery
On the day of surgery, patients are advised not to eat, drink, or wear eye makeup. When the patient arrives, they are given eye drops to that dilate the pupils of the eye and a topical or local anesthetic to numb the patient during surgery. In some cases, the patient may also be given a sedative. Once the area around the eye has been cleaned and sanitized, at least one small incision will be made into the eye with the aid of an operating microscope. The surgeon will then remove the cataract. Cataracts can also be broken up using an ultrasound powered instrument and suctioned out of the eye.
A third type of cataract surgery uses specialized tools to mechanically break up the cataract into small fragments that are removed through a small incision. In this type of surgery, a silicone or plastic IOL is inserted into the eye to replace the natural lens that has been removed. In many cases, the incisions that are made during cataract surgery are self-sealing. Occasionally, there may be a need to suture or stitch up the incisions. When stitches are required, they are usually permanent and never removed.
After Cataract Surgery
In most cases, the recovery time for cataract surgery is fairly short and is usually done as an outpatient operation. Patients will be unable to drive immediately following their surgery and should arrange for someone else to drive them home afterwards. Postoperative care for cataract surgery typically requires the patient to wear a protective bandage or covering over their eye and use daily eye drops as prescribed by the surgeon. Eye drops are usually administered several times a day for several weeks following the surgery. Dark eye glasses will be provided by the doctors to shield the eye, as they may be very light sensitive. During the week following cataract surgery, patients should abstain from strenuous physical activity, heavy lifting and avoid getting water in the eye.
Research has shown cataract surgery to be a successful method in helping patients to see better and live a more fulfilling life. For more information about cataracts and cataract eye surgery, please refer to the following websites;
- Facts About Cataracts – Information people should know about this common eye disease, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
- Cataract Removal – Information about cataract removal in children and adults.
- Cataract Surgery Video –Watch this helpful video to learn more about cataract surgery.
- Preoperative Cataract Testing – What patients should know about testing before eye surgery.
- Anesthesia Management – Some clinical research and findings about general and topical anesthesia during cataract surgery.
- The Risks & Benefits of Cataract Surgery – A helpful article about the risks and benefits of cataract surgery.
- Cataract Removal Information – This health encyclopedia discusses cataract removal.
- Clarification of Misconceptions of Cataracts – This article helps clear up some confusion about cataracts, geared towards women.
- Cataract FAQ’s – A few frequently asked questions about cataracts and cataract surgery.
- In the Spotlight: Cataracts – More basics about cataracts for interested patients.
- ASCRS – Home page for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
- More About Cataracts – Some more basic information about cataracts and what can be done for them.
- Removal Overview – An informative overview of cataract removal.
- What to Expect – What patients can expect from cataract surgery.
- New Laser System – Read more about how one new laser method is being developed for cataract surgery.
- Ask the Doctor – Some common questions and answers from a doctor regarding cataract surgery.
- Preparation Video – This video explains how to prepare for cataract eye surgery.
- Cataract Facts – Pictures and helpful information about cataracts.
- Photos – Detailed photos and information about cataracts & eye lenses.
- Cataract Surgery Information – Information about preparing for, going through, and recovering from cataract surgery.