How To Prepare For Cataract Surgery
If you are scheduled to undergo cataract surgery, you are likely interested in learning what to do to prepare yourself for the surgery. What is allowed and what is disallowed? And how can you make your cataract surgery as smooth and stress-free as it can be? That is what we will cover for you here.
Rest assured, cataract surgery is one of the most widely performed eye surgeries in the world and has been being done safely for decades. Pacific Vision in particular is also home to some of the most experienced and widely renowned eye surgeons in the world and we look forward to putting our expertise and abilities to use in order to help you live your life in focus.
If your surgeon has informed you that cataract surgery is on the table for you, here is how to prepare for it. Please keep in mind that these general guidelines will be superseded by anything your eye surgeon tells you specifically to do to prepare. For instance, you may be told to take eye drops for a shorter or longer period of time, or that eating before surgery is alright. In such cases, please listen to your doctor; this list is provided as general information that is broadly accurate.
Preparing for Cataract Surgery
Preparing for cataract surgery is often a simple and uneventful process that extends over about a two-week period for most patients. While you may be advised to do (or not do) something related to your surgery specifically, here is an outline of what to generally expect while preparing for the procedure.
- Ultrasound / A-scan
A week before your procedure, an ultrasound or A-scan is done to measure the size and shape of your eye. This gives us detailed data we need to perform the best surgical procedure for you personally.
- Ceasing certain medications
Depending upon what medications you are taking, you’ll likely be advised to cease taking one or several of them—including prostate medications and anticoagulants. Not all medications interfere with or affect the surgery, but we’ll want to avoid any complications that may arise from certain medications that could increase your risk of bleeding.
- Medicated eye drops
We will provide you with a specific type of medicated eye drops to use throughout each day for two days prior to your surgery.
- Driving home
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can return home when it is complete and are not required to stay overnight in a hospital. However, you won’t personally be able to drive after the surgery and thus should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home.
- At-home care
After cataract surgery, you will likely be advised against heavy lifting or bending for a week after surgery, so it may be helpful to arrange for a friend or family member who can help you as needed.
- Abstaining from alcohol
Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours prior to your cataract surgery.
- Cease smoking
Smokers experience more postoperative complications after any type of surgery than nonsmokers do. It is absolutely in your best interest to cease smoking for two weeks prior to cataract surgery.
- Eating on the day of surgery
You may be advised not to eat or drink anything for 6 to 12 hours before surgery. Eating before a scheduled surgery will likely cause it to be postponed. A light breakfast may be acceptable; please check with your surgeon.
- The waiting period between eyes
If you need cataract surgery on both eyes, we will typically do surgery on one eye one day, and then give that eye several days to two weeks to recover before doing surgery on your other eye.
Remaining mindful of these points as you prepare for your cataract surgery will go a long way toward making your surgery smooth and successful. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns.