Cataract FAQ

Before Surgery

What can I expect after surgery?

 It is normal for the vision to be blurred after surgery. You may also experience itching, burning, foreign body sensation, tearing, as occasional flash of light, and or glare/haloes.

Do I have to stop my coumadin/plavix/aspirin prior to surgery?
 No. You do not need to stop any anti-coagulation prior to surgery.

Do I need to take out my contacts prior to surgery?
 To maximize accuracy, you should have your lenses out for 1 week (soft lenses) or 1 month (hard lenses) prior to lens measurements but you may resume contact lens use after that until the day of surgery.

What is monovision?
 Monovision is when one eye is targeted to see well in the distance while the other is targeted to see well for reading. The advantage is that glasses are not often required. The disadvantage is that depth perception may be compromised and not all patients can tolerate monovision.

What is the Crystalens?
 The Crystalens is a lens that flexes back and forth within the eye to increase range of vision. While you can see more without glasses than you would with traditional lenses, you still may need glasses for reading, particularly in dim light conditions or very fine print.

What are multifocal lenses?
 Multifocal lenses, such as the ReSTOR and Tecnis Multifocal, are similar to bifocal contact lenses in that they provide a distance and near focused image for each eye. While they dramatically decrease dependance on glasses after surgery, they may have more glare/haloes effect, particularly at night when your pupil is most dilated.

What are toric lenses?
 Toric lenses are lenses that can correct astigmatism at the time of surgery.

Day of surgery

Can I eat anything before surgery?
 You should not have anything to eat after you go to sleep the night before surgery.

How long will the whole process take?
You should plan on being at the surgery center for approximately two hours.

How long is the surgery?

 The surgery lasts about 6-8 minutes.

After Surgery

How do I use the drops?

The order of the drops does not matter, but you should wait about 5 minutes between placing each drop in the eye.

How long will it take my vision to clear up?
 Typically the vision clears up in a day. Sometimes, however, it may take up to a week.

Is it normal to see floaters after surgery?
 An occasional floater is ok. If you start to see tons of floaters all of a sudden you should contact us to be seen immediately.

How long before I can shower?

 You can shower the day after surgery, making sure that the water does not spray directly into the eyes.

How long before I can wear makeup?

 You can wear everything except for eyeliner three days after surgery. Please wait one week before using eyeliner.

How long before I can golf?

 You can play golf after three days.

How long before I can play tennis?

 You can play tennis after one week.

How long before I can swim?

 You can go in the pool after one week. You cannot put your head under water for one month.

How long before I can have sex?

 One week after surgery.

Does cataract surgery cause:

 It is possible however in the majority of cases the floater was pre-existing but not noticed until the cataract was removed and the vision became more clear.

macular degeneration?
 This is debated widely but in the largest studies to date, patients with dry macular degeneration who underwent uncomplicated cataract surgery did not have a higher risk of developing wet macular degeneration than those that did not have cataract surgery. I recommend cataract surgery to all of my dry macular degeneration patients if their cataract is affecting their vision significantly. For patients with wet macular degeneration, I will offer cataract surgery if they have clearance from a retinal specialist beforehand.

droopy lids?
 This is possible. However many times the droopy lid was pre-existing but not as noticeable because glasses made it less obvious. Should you desire lid surgery and are considering cataract surgery, you should wait three months after cataract surgery before having lid surgery.

What are the common vision problems that can occur after uncomplicated surgery?

Cystoid macular edema

 Much like bumping your arm can cause a bruise, so too can cataract surgery cause swelling in the retina. Usually this is characterized by a slowly progressive blurring of vision typically occurring six weeks after surgery. Treatment typically involves topical drops and the condition reverses in almost all cases.

 These are issues related to the way light reflects within the eye after passing through the intraocular lens. Positive dysphotopsias can include haloes and comet tails around lights. Negative dyspshotopsias are characterized by C shaped shadows in the peripheral vision, sometimes described as "horse blinders". In the majority of cases dysphotopsias resolve with time, however when they do not there are surgical treatments for negative dysphotopsias.


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