The diagnosis of a cataract can be scary. However, cataract removal is a safe, simple procedure, with a very short recovery time. The new laser, no-stitch and no-patch methods of cataract surgery are available for those patients who are good candidates.
Cataract surgery patients nearly always go home within an hour or two after the surgery is completed. Here are the basic procedures someone may experience after being told they need cataract removal.
Health Checks Are Essential
The optometrist or surgeon will review a patient’s medical and eye health history to ensure that person is healthy enough for the procedure. Additional eye tests, like glare function tests and measurement of the lens of the eye, will be done at the pre-surgery appointment. This helps determine the proper power for the implant lens that will be used to replace the cloudy cataract lens inside the eye. Some of the implant lenses may eliminate the need for glasses entirely. The surgeon will determine the most appropriate procedure for removing the cataract.
The Day of Surgery
Whether a person goes to a free-standing surgery center or a hospital, the process is very similar. A patient goes to a pre-operative room for any final evaluations and to start a tiny IV for sedation. The anesthesiologist will visit to discuss whether someone wants to be awake or asleep during the cataract removal. Most patients only require mild sedation.
After that, the patient is moved to the operating room. This is a special clean room where a sterile field is set up so that the chance of any bacteria entering the wound is reduced as close to zero as possible. This is to prevent infection.
The surgeon will make absolutely sure that the patient cannot feel anything before starting the cataract removal. She or he will open the thin bag that holds the cataract in place, break it apart, remove it, and then place the implant lens into the bag. If the tiny incisions are not the self-sealing type, the surgeon will use a small suture to close the opening.
After surgery, each patient is carefully monitored for any side effects of the surgery or sedating medications. This takes about an hour. After that, most patients go home to relax. While there are a few limitations during the healing process, such as not bumping the eye, many people are able to resume their usual activities about 24 hours later.
Follow-up Visits Are Important
The day after cataract removal patients will visit the doctor of optometry or surgeon for the first post-operative visit. This visit is essential to make sure that the implant lens has stayed in place and that the eye is healing properly. Other follow-up visits are scheduled as necessary. At the final visit, the optometrist will determine the new prescription for any glasses, if needed.
If you have cataracts, contact Tuskawilla Family Eye Care today. Dr. David Hankins can examine your eyes and provide the most appropriate advice on cataract removal.