What is cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye when the lens becomes cloudy, usually due to normal aging changes. The cloudy lens is replaced with a new clear intraocular lens (IOL).
Are there other treatments for cataracts?
Cataracts can only be removed with surgery. There are no medicines or eye drops that can improve cataracts. When cataracts interfere with your ability to read, drive, or do the things you enjoy, cataract surgery is a safe, effective, and relatively pain-free option to improve your vision.
Not all cataracts need surgery. If your symptoms are mild, a new glasses prescription may improve your vision. After your eye exam, the doctors at Coleman Eye Center can help you decide the best way to improve your vision.
Is cataract surgery an outpatient procedure?
At Coleman Eye Center, cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in our adjacent Ambulatory Surgery Center. Admission to a hospital is not required for cataract surgery.
How long does the operation last?
Cataract surgery typically takes less than ten minutes. Patients can expect to be at the surgery center for 1 to 2 hours.
Is cataract surgery painful?
Most patients experience very little discomfort during their operation. You will be given an oral medication to help you relax as well as local anesthetic around the eye to prevent pain, movement, and vision in your eye during the surgery. Being put to sleep with general anesthesia is not needed during cataract surgery.
Can my cataract come back after surgery?
Cataracts do not return after they are removed during surgery. The new lens implant lasts the rest of your life.
Some patients experience a decrease to their vision in the months or years after cataract surgery due to cloudiness in the tissue that supports the lens implant, the capsule. This clouding of the capsule can be easily treated with a simple and painless laser procedure called a YAG capsulotomy which returns the vision quickly and effectively without further surgery.
Are there any risks to cataract surgery?
All surgeries carry some degree of risk. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in the United States. Having performed tens of thousands of cataract surgeries, the surgeons at Coleman Eye Center minimize risk through careful surgical planning, skillful technique, and the use of advanced technology.
The doctors and staff at Coleman Eye Center will discuss the risks and benefits of cataract surgery with you at the time of your examination, and will also highlight any special features or concerns regarding your surgery.
Are both eyes operated on at the same time?
Cataract surgery is performed on only one eye at a time. If cataract surgery is needed on the other eye, it is usually done a week or two after the first eye.
What is the recovery like?
Immediately after surgery, a patch is placed over the eye and will remain for a few hours. After the patch is removed, post-operative eye drops are begun. Patients usually enjoy resting on the day of surgery.
The day after surgery, patients will have a post-operative visit. Specific questions about activity levels can be answered at this time, but typically most normal activities can then be resumed. Most patients feel very little discomfort during the recovery period.
Visual recovery will vary from patient to patient, but most patients will see better as early as the first day after their cataract surgery. Vision will usually continue to improve in the days following surgery.
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
Most patients will experience a decrease in their dependence on glasses after their cataracts are removed and can often go without glasses for many activities. Some patients will still opt to use glasses for some activities to give the best possible vision.
The doctors at Coleman Eye Center will help you understand your expected need for glasses after cataract surgery and can discuss options to further decrease your dependence on glasses.
Click here to learn more about your intraocular lens options.