Cataracts are a common problem for many Americans. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 24.5 million Americans suffer from cataracts. Fortunately, cataract surgery is often successful in restoring vision to cataract sufferers. It’s considered a routine operation. How routine? About 3.6 million cataract laser surgeries are performed in America every year. Here’s what to expect from a cataract operation.
Patients must not eat at least 12 hours before surgery. Patients are usually given a small snack in the recovery area after the surgery is done. It is best to pack a small snack just in case snacks happen not to be available that day.
This is an outpatient procedure which can be performed in a hospital. Only in rare cases is general anesthesia needed. Sedatives may be given. The patient is usually left awake but takes anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye before the procedure. The Eye Surgeon in Wichita, KS or elsewhere may need to talk to the patient during the procedure.
Just One Eye
Even if cataracts are in both eyes, the Eye Surgeon in Wichita, KS or elsewhere will only perform surgery on one eye. If surgery on both eyes were performed, then the patient would be blind. After surgery, the eye needs to be bandaged.
Do Not Drive
Patients getting cataract surgery should not try to drive themselves home after surgery. The combination of sedatives, eye drops, fasting and the bandaged eye make driving hazardous at best. Either arrange to have a friend or family member drive or hire a taxi. Driving is not recommended for at least 24 hours after surgery.
No Bending or Lifting
The eye can be damaged if the patient bends over soon after surgery. To be safe, the patient should not bend over lift anything over 10 pounds. Lifting causes strain to the eyes which may injure the eye or cause the artificial lens in it to dislodge.
Visit Surgeon or Approved Eye Doctor Soon Afterwards
Patients should see an eye doctor one or two days after surgery. Since they should not drive, they need to hire a taxi, take public transportation or get a friend to drive them. Some patients go see their optometrist rather than the surgeon for post-operative care. Some eye health clinics like Grene Vision Group can have many doctors a patient can see.