Know your Surgery

Before Surgery

To determine if your cataract should be removed, your ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye examination. It is advisable to not wait for the cataract to mature because once mature, the cataract can raise the pressure of the eye resulting in lens induced glaucoma which can cause a permanent damage to the optic nerve. Before surgery, your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye.

The general physical fitness opinion by a physician is a must. Routine blood investigations are needed. If you are on any medications, inform the doctor. You have to continue all your medications as usual. Do not stop on your own. Doctor may advice you to stop temporarily few drugs like aspirin before surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis (day care surgery) in the hospital. When you arrive for surgery, you will be given eye drops and perhaps a mild sedative to help you relax. A local anesthetic (eye drops/Injection) will numb your eye. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Your eye will be kept open by an eyelid speculum. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening.

Surgery is performed under an operating microscope. The patient is usually awake, so any small movement such as a cough or simple head adjustment looks like an earthquake under the microscope. It's advisable to stay still & inform surgeon before you move head.

Surgery results:

The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent. Improved vision is achieved in the majority of patients. Only a small number of patients continue to have problems following cataract surgery due to problems related to nerves/ co-morbid systemic diseases.

Even if cataract surgery is successful, some patients may not see as well as they would like to. Other eye problems such as macular degeneration (aging of the retina), glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy may limit vision after surgery. Even with these problems, cataract surgery may still be worthwhile as visual loss attributable to cataract can be restored. After surgery is completed, your doctor may place a shield over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home.

Following Surgery:

You will need to:

Use the eye drops as prescribed
Be careful not to rub or press on your eye
Avoid strenuous activities until your eye specialist tells you to resume them
Ask your doctor when you can begin driving
Wear eyeglasses or an eye shield, as advised by your doctor

You can continue most normal daily activities.

Complications after Cataract Surgery

Though they rarely occur, serious complications of cataract surgery are:

Detachment of the retina

Call your ophthalmologist immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after surgery:

Pain not relieved by pain medication
Loss of vision

Excessive eye discharge or watering

Nausea, vomiting, or excessive coughing
Injury to the eye

Cataract surgery after care

The lens capsule (the part of the eye that holds the lens in place) sometimes becomes cloudy, months or years after the original cataract operation in 20 % of cases. If the cloudy capsule (After cataract) blurs your vision, your ophthalmologist can perform a second procedure using a laser. No surgery is usually required. During the second procedure, called a posterior capsulotomy, aNd-YAG laser is used to make an opening in the cloudy lens capsule, restoring normal vision.

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