Panhandle Eye Group, LLP


Cataract Surgery

With typical cataract surgery, we numb the eye with topical drops.  Rarely, we use an injection as the numbing agent.  If we do, you will be put to sleep for 1 minute while the injection is given.  This will eliminate any pain.  During surgery you will notice a bright light, cool water on the eye, and my hands resting on your forehead. 

A device is used to hold your eyelids open during surgery.   A small incision is made in the clear part of the eye called the cornea. Your cataract is then removed by breaking it into pieces using ultrasound.  The clear, plastic artificial lens is then placed in your eye.  The wound seals itself and usually does not require a stitch.  A clear plastic shield is placed over your eye that is to be kept in place until you are seen in the office the day after surgery.

You will be awake during the procedure. There should be no pain during surgery, but you can have a sedative if you are nervous. 

The surgery takes about 10 minutes.  After surgery, your eye may burn and feel scratchy.  This is normal.  Take your pain reliever of choice for any discomfort.  If your pain persists and it is severe, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

Post-op examinations usually occur the day after surgery and then about two weeks later.  If your other eye needs surgery as well, it will be scheduled about 1 to 3 weeks after the first eye.  We prefer that the first eye be completely healed prior to operating on the second eye.

Most people require glasses after surgery for reading and some prefer to continue wearing them for distance vision as well.  Your vision may still be changing during the first month of healing; therefore, it is necessary for you to wait at least 30 days before getting a new prescription for glasses.  If cataract surgery is necessary on both eyes, you should wait to get glasses until surgery is done on the second eye.

Cataract surgery is safe and very successful, however, it is not without possible problems.  You have a 1% chance of having a complication either during or after surgery.  Complications including bleeding, infection, swelling or detachment of the retina, iris trauma, non-resolving swelling of the cornea, among other less common problems, may occur.  Most complications are mild and can be treated with drops.  Occasionally, additional surgery is necessary to restore your vision.  You have a 1 in 1000 chance of having a serious complication during or after surgery, but many of these are treatable as well.

Overall, most patients describe cataract surgery as a quick and relatively painless procedure that greatly enhances their quality of life by significantly improving their vision.