What to Expect During and After Cataract Surgery

Apr 03, 2023
What to Expect During and After Cataract Surgery
Finding out you need cataract surgery can be scary, but it helps to know what to expect during and after the procedure.

If your eye doctor has told you that you need to undergo cataract surgery, you likely want to know what to expect during and after cataract surgery.

Read below to learn what you can expect from your cataract surgery with Dr. Cory Bergman, MD, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Casper, Wyoming.  

Preparing for your cataract surgery

Before your cataract surgery, speaking to your eye doctor about any pre-existing conditions you may have is important. While cataract surgery rarely causes any severe bleeding, Dr. Bergman checks to ensure you have any conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes under control. 

If you are taking aspirin or other anti-clotting medications, speak with the doctor who prescribed them and your eye doctor in advance.

The day before the surgery, you receive instructions on what to do before arriving for your appointment. Typically these instructions include fasting for 12 hours before surgery and avoiding contact lenses for up to three days beforehand. 

During cataract surgery

Once you arrive for your cataract surgery, the staff administers an IV sedative and local anesthesia to keep you calm. According to your doctor's orders, the medical team administers eye drops to your eyes before and after the surgery. 

You are awake during the surgery, and the operation typically takes around thirty minutes. 

The surgeon makes a small incision to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial plastic lens. 

After cataract surgery

You are likely to be at the surgical facility for several hours from start to finish, as nurses observe you in the recovery room for about half an hour. After clearing you to leave, you must have someone drive you home as you cannot drive immediately after cataract surgery.

For several weeks after your surgery, you apply anti-inflammatory and prescription antibiotic eye drops several times daily. These help prevent inflammation and infection from occurring at the surgery site. You also have to wear an eye shield a week after your surgery while sleeping. 

You then see Dr. Bergman for several follow-up visits. These are typically scheduled the day after and then one week, one month, and six months after surgery. During these follow-up visits, the doctor checks how the eye is healing, measures your eye pressure, and tests your visual acuity. 

While not always the case, Dr. Bergman may also provide you with or recommend wearing sunglasses outside. 

To learn more about cataract surgery or begin the process, call your nearest office or schedule an appointment online today