WHAT DOES CATARACT SURGERY RECOVERY LOOK LIKE?

Dr. Jim Martin 11/30/2015

eye_surgery_bandage.pngFor healthy patients, cataract surgery is a quick procedure that can take less than an hour. Recovery time is a bit longer. The good news is that most cataract surgery patients have a good outcome and report better vision once the healing is complete. It just takes a bit of time between surgery and complete recovery. Let's look at what that entails.

Immediately After Surgery

Patients undergoing cataract surgery are either sedated or anesthetized. This helps keep them still as the surgeon performs the procedure. The level of sedation is usually fairly light. After the procedure, the patient will need to rest in a recovery room to allow the sedation or anesthetic to wear off. This can take up to an hour.

Because the surgery was on the eye, the patient will need to have someone available to drive him or her home. The patient will need to wear sunglasses going home and as advised when going outside during the recovery period. Most patients need to rest after getting home to let the sedation wear off completely.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

It all depends on the particular patient. Some report better vision within hours of surgery while others don't get the full effect for a week or two after the procedure.

During the surgery, the doctor replaced the damaged lens with an artificial intraocular lens. It can take some time for the brain to adjust to the new lens. Many patients report distorted or wavy vision for a short time, though most had that clear out after an hour or two.

The eyes may appear bloodshot because the surgery involved cutting some of the fine vessels on the surface of the eye. The redness should dissipate and disappear completely within three or four days. Most people completely recover from cataract surgery within a month of the procedure.

Are There Ways To Ensure The Best Recovery?

Here are a few things the patient can do to keep his or her recovery on track:

Follow the surgeon's instructions carefully.
Be careful walking and avoid bumping into doors and other objects.
Avoid swimming or hot tub use for at least the first week.
Don't expose the eye to irritants like dust, grime, or high winds.
Don't rub the eye.
The surgeon will refer you back to your optometrist for a vision check four weeks after surgery.

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month. Cataracts are very common in diabetic patients. To catch potential vision problems, routine eye exams are a necessary part of managing diabetes. Contact Broome Optical today to set your appointment.

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