standard-title What to Expect

What to Expect

What to Expect Before and After Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery

You’ve made the important decision to have cataract surgery and improve your quality of life! We’re excited that you’ve chosen Missouri Eye Institute as your provider of choice.


When should I schedule my surgery date?

  • You’ve been thoroughly examined at Missouri Eye Institute and received approval for surgery.
  • You and your Missouri Eye institute eye surgeon have discussed the options for cataract surgery, the laser surgery available and which implantable lens will be used in your cataract surgery.
  • You know how you’re going to finance the cost of the surgery option you selected.
  • Now, you may schedule while you are in the office or call us later to schedule your procedure. We appreciate your patience in understanding it may take 3 to 4 weeks before we have an open surgery appointment.
  • Upon scheduling, you will receive a packet of pre-operative instructions.

Is there anything I should do to prepare before my scheduled surgery?

Thoroughly review your pre-operative instructions as all patients are given unique instructions, In general, however, be aware of the following:

  • If you wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, you should not wear them for several weeks prior.
  • Other types of contact lenses shouldn’t be worn for at least several days prior to surgery.
  • Arrange for a friend or family member to stay with you during surgery and drive you directly home after your procedure.
  • On the day or your appointment, do not wear makeup, hair accessories or jewelry.

What should I anticipate the day of surgery?

The most common type of cataract eye surgery performed in the U.S. today is an outpatient procedure in which the eye is treated with anesthetic to limit any discomfort. The surgeon makes a tiny incision (without laser or laser-assisted based on your choice and what’s best for your eye) and uses a laser and high-speed ultrasound waves to break the cataract into tiny pieces that are then removed. The surgeon will then replace the lens with an  intraocular lens (IOL) implant that performs most of the functions of the natural lens. In some instances, you will be able to see immediately following surgery, although most people experience clearer vision the day following surgery.

What can I expect to experience during recovery?

Prior to surgery we will discuss what to expect after surgery and your post-surgery instructions. If you need another copy of these instructions or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call your referring optometrist or us at 1-800-383-3831. In general, you should be aware of the following:

  • Plan to nap upon arriving home or resting with your eyes closed.
  • After several hours, you will begin using eye drops as directed by your surgeon.
  • Plan to restrict reading, computer work and TV-viewing activities for the first 24 hours.
  • After a follow-up appointment with and approval by your ophthalmologist or optometrist, you may return to normal activity.

What if I have questions or concerns after surgery?

If you have questions or concerns – at any time – call your referring optometrist or Missouri Eye Institute at 1-800-383-3831.