Tips to Prepare for Cataract Surgery

How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery

There are several important things to consider prior to having your cataract surgery.  The following advice is provided to improve your result, maximise your vision and increase your satisfaction with the cataract surgery procedure.

Cataract

Treat any pre-existing eye conditions

Prior to cataract surgery, we will makes several measurements to determine the best intraocular lens to be inserted at the time of surgery.  The accuracy of your eye measurements are crucial to determine the correct lens.  If your eye is dry or has any inflammation, it can impact the accuracy of these measurements.  I may recommend that you treat dry eyes or blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) for several weeks with lubricant eyedrops, eyelid scrubs, warm compresses or even mild anti-inflammatory eyedrops.  This will improve the tear film on the surface of your eye and increase the accuracy of your measurements. 

Remove any contact lenses prior to your exam

Contact lens wear can also have a negative impact on your eye measurements.  If a contact lens has recently been worn, it may cause an irregular curvature to the cornea or an abnormal tear film.  It is recommended that you remove a soft contact lens for a few days and a rigid gas permeable or hard contact for at least 1 week prior to your cataract evaluation. 

Avoid surgery if any other infections are present

Although it is unlikely that an infection on another part of the body would affect your eye surgery, there is still a small risk that it could.  Given that cataract surgery is an elective procedure and can be scheduled, it is best to plan for the procedure when you are completely healthy with no other systemic illness.  Please let us know if you have had any recent rashes, coughs, cold symptoms, or other possible signs or symptoms of an infection.  We want you to achieve the best possible outcome with the smallest possible risk. 

Understand what happens during and after the surgery

You will need to comfortably lie flat on your back during surgery and will need someone to drive you to and from surgery.  Although most cataract operations are done under a local or topical anaesthetic and you are awake for surgery, you will still require someone to help you with transportation to and from the surgical centre.  The surgery itself usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes, and you will have to lie flat on your back during this time.  There are several other checks and documentation that needs to be done, that will take a bit longer.  It is best to plan in advance for the complete visit to the surgical centre to take a few hours and arrange your transportation accordingly.  If you require a specific surgical time, we can usually work with you to find a convenient time in your schedule. 

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