How is cataract surgery performed?
Modern cataract surgery is highly successful with over 90% of patients regaining useful sight. Cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient surgery under local or topical anesthesia. Upon arriving to the surgery center, drops will placed in your eye to dilate your pupil and an IV will be placed to administer a light sedative. The skin around your eye will be cleansed a sterile drape will be placed. Under a operating microscope the surgeon will make a small incision and insert an ultrasound driven instrument that breaks up the cataract as the pieces are suctioned (aspirated) out of the eye. This technique is called phacoemulsification.
Then a small foldable artificial lens (intraocular lens, or IOL) is placed inside the eye. Today there are options for patients to consider in deciding on which intraocular lens is right for you. The choice of which intraocular lens is appropriate for you depends on several things like the health of your eyes, any other eye conditions you may have, and your desire to decrease your dependency on glasses. To learn more about intraocular lenses click here.
Most incisions done for modern cataract surgery are self sealing and do not require sutures. A patch then may be placed over your eye and you will be able to go home. The patch will then be removed that evening or the next day at your eye doctor's office.
What can I expect after surgery?
Vision is usually blurry the first day after cataract surgery and slowly improves over time. You will be on drops for about a month after surgery to help your eye heal and prevent any post-operative complications.
Post-operative appointments will take place one day, one week, and one month after surgery to ensure proper healing and a successful outcome. You will be given a new eye glass prescription one month after surgery.