What Should I Expect During Cataract Surgery?

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on February 25, 2020

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Are you thinking about having cataract surgery? Are you nervous about the procedure because you don’t know what to expect?

One way to deal with your nerves is to get a better understanding of what happens during it. Having more information leads to feeling more comfortable about cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect during cataract surgery!

What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. Without cataracts, the lens is normally clear and easy to see through.

When you have cataracts, it makes it much harder to see.  Cataracts can also cause blurry vision, halos around light, and make it hard to drive at night.  If cataracts are interfering with your life, then it may be time to consider cataract surgery.

How do you prepare for cataract surgery?

Some doctors recommend that you avoid eating or drinking for 12 hours before surgery. If you take any medications that cause bleeding, you may need to stop taking them.

Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are on. In the days before cataract surgery, you’ll start using eye drops, which your doctor will prescribe.

What happens before the procedure?

At least a week before surgery, you will come into Missouri Eye Institute for an appointment. During this appointment, we will look at the current state of your eyes.

This is to get the size and shape of them, which is needed for your cataract surgery procedure.  You will also work with your doctor to pick out an intraocular lens (IOL).

It’s important to pick an IOL that fits your lifestyle and visual needs.  An IOL replaces the natural lens in your eye. IOLs help the light focus in the back of the eye.

IOLs come with all sorts of different features and materials. There are even premium lenses that reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery!

What should I expect during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery that usually takes under an hour. The first thing that happens is your doctor will dilate your eyes using eye drops.

You will also receive a local anesthetic to numb your eyes. Also, some patients get a sedative if they are nervous and need something to calm down.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed. After removing the lens, the IOL is then inserted in its place.

There are two options for removing the natural lens. The first option uses ultrasound waves (a process called phacoemulsification) to break up the lens and remove it.

Your doctor will make a tiny cut in your eye and a probe is then inserted into the lens where the cataract is. The probe breaks up the cataract and removes the pieces.

The back of the lens stays in the eye to hold the IOL in place. Your doctor may use stitches to close the incision in your cornea.

The second option is where an incision is made and the entire lens is removed at once. The back of the lens is also left to hold the IOL in place.

Within a few days of having cataract surgery, you should notice vision improvements. If you experience any problems, contact your doctor immediately.

Are you ready to have cataract surgery now that you know what to expect? Schedule a cataract screening at Missouri Eye Institute in Springfield, MO today! Why wait another day if you know that clear vision is in your future?


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