Thursday, April 11, 2024

Are You Awake During Cataract Surgery

What Happens If My Cataracts Are Not Treated

What actually happens during cataract surgery? Shannon Wong, MD

Cataracts do not go away on their own, so they should not be left untreated. There are several remedies we can use to slow the progression of the cataract. There are steps you can take as well, such as wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun exposure, and taking plenty of vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids to provide eye nutrients. We are often successful at helping people by changing their eyeglasses or contact lens prescription more frequently to help with vision as the cataract progresses. Surgery is ultimately needed to remove the cataract, and our expert surgeons can answer all your questions about it.

What will happen if your cataract is left untreated? Unfortunately, untreated cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the world today. Without any surgical intervention, the cataract continues to grow and affect vision, so let us help preserve your precious eyesight.

Anesthesia For Cataract Surgery

Nearly 10 million cataract surgeries are performed around the world every year, making it one of the most common surgical procedures.

Cataract surgery can be completed in 15 minutes as an outpatient procedure. One of the most common forms of cataract surgery involves placing an intraocular lens into the eye, often with the assistance of lasers. The incisions are very small, and the procedure is not very invasive.

Anesthesia is the administration of medications to block or numb pain during a surgical procedure. It is usually provided by a special doctor called an anesthesiologist.

Since cataract surgery is fairly quick and noninvasive, the anesthesia is usually light. The eye can be numbed locally, eliminating the need for full sedation most of the time.

The doctor will numb your eye itself and generally keep you awake during the surgery. You will often be given either oral or intravenous medications to help you relax and remain comfortable.

You May Be A Good Candidate For Cataract Surgery

If you have any of the following vision problems, you may be a good candidate for cataract surgery:

  • Clouded or blurred vision
  • Difficulty reading or watching TV
  • Dim, dingy appearance of colors

To prepare, well carefully examine your eyes, discuss your overall health, and evaluate the size and location of your cataracts. We also measure your eye to determine the best type of intraocular lens . During cataract surgery, the new IOL replaces your natural lens so you can see clearly, often without the need for glasses.

Before undergoing cataract surgery, you may also need to stop taking certain medications, and begin using antibiotic eye drops to minimize your risk of infection from the surgery.

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Can You Also Correct Your Vision With This Surgery

In general, cataract surgery can correct your vision. Problems such as warped images and dull colors can easily be corrected with this surgical procedure. However, if you have additional vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, then Dr. Patel may be able to use an additional procedure to permanently correct your vision.

Its common for patients to opt for an add-on treatment called an intraocular lens or IOL. You can think of an intraocular lens as a type of permanent contact lens. These lenses are made in a way that will correct your vision problems. Dr. Patel will place the lens over the eye through the same incision that was used to remove cataracts. Once correctly positioned, Dr. Patel will close the incision and place a protective shield over the eye to aid in your recovery.

What Will the Quality of Your Vision Be Like After Surgery?

The goal of cataract surgery in Wichita KS is to restore your vision to 20/20. For most people, this goal is perfectly achievable. However, if you have other eye conditions, such as glaucoma, you may not be able to perfectly restore your vision. Dr. Patel will be able to give you a better idea of what you can expect from your results and explore additional corrective treatments to restore your vision.

Contact New Vision Eye Center To Learn More

Cataract Surgery: What is it, how does it work?

At New Vision Eye Center in Vero Beach, we are proud to offer the gentlest and most-advanced technology for our laser cataract removal surgeries. To find out more about cataracts and how laser surgery can help restore your vision, call our world-class eye care sm center today at 772-257-8700, or contact us online.

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Relaxation Medications For Cataract Surgery

These medications are often administered to help you relax and stay calm during the operation. They are often administered orally or through injection or IV. These medications also help you avoid the memory of the procedure and can be administered depending on body weight and overall health. However, for general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will need to use the lowest doses of medications for anesthesia and relaxation.

What To Expect During Cataract Surgery

If you are nervous about the thought of having eye surgery to correct cataracts, it’s a perfectly normal feeling. But, you can take comfort from the knowledge that cataract surgery has become routine, and it’s one of the safest eye procedures you can have. Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your laser cataract eye surgery.

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Do I Have To Stop Blood Thinners Before Cataract Surgery

Blood thinners do not have to be stopped before cataract surgery. Because we are not working on tissues that contain blood vessels, bleeding is usually not a major concern. Patients taking Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Ibuprofen or Aspirin do NOT generally have to stop these medications.

How Do I Get Ready For Cataract Surgery

What to Expect During & After Cataract Surgery

Before surgery you will have a full eye exam to make sure that any other eye problems are detected and addressed before surgery. Measurements of the eye will be taken to help us determine the power of lens implant needed. These typically include an A-scan , mapping of the cornea , and often a macular scan as well. While you are in the office, we will discuss various lens implant options and discuss the choice of lens implant to be used.

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What Kind Of Sedation Is Used For Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common age-related condition where the lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. This leads to progressive vision impairment. Cataracts are easily treated with a simple surgical procedure to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.

Today, most cataract surgery is done on an out-patient basis, and the entire process usually takes no more than 2 hours from check-in to heading home! The procedure itself usually lasts less than 15 minutes and is virtually painless.

Typically, patients are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia and enables Our Doctors to communicate with you during your procedure.

You will be given an oral medication prior to the procedure to help you relax during your surgery. Before you are taken into surgery, the area around your eye will be cleansed and drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil. An anesthetic shot or numbing eye drops will be used to make sure youll be comfortable throughout the surgery. You should not feel pain or discomfort during your procedure.

To learn more about cataract surgery in Upland, contact Pacific Eye Institute to schedule a cataract surgery consultation. Call 1-800-345-8979 or visit Website to schedule your appointment today!

Want To Know More About Cataract Eye Surgery: Contact The West Boca Eye Center

The West Boca Eye Center is one of the most advanced facilities in the US, offering cutting-edge cataract surgery treatments that are often not available elsewhere. This is largely due to its founder and lead clinicians passion for all things cataract-related. Brent Bellotte MD. has dedicated his professional career to advancing the surgical options available for the treatment of cataracts and has been pivotal in bringing them to the mainstream.

Its this expertise that sees people traveling from across the nation and even from overseas to avail themselves of skill and cataract treatment options.

Want to find out more? Visit and get in touch with the friendly WBEC team today.

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Does Cataract Surgery Hurt

In most cases, patients feel little or no discomfort or pain during cataract surgery. Steps are taken before and after the procedure to ensure you dont experience any pain.

The numbing anesthetic eye drops applied before surgery desensitize your eyes so you don’t feel anything during the procedure. In some cases, patients may receive extra medication intravenously during surgery to ensure they remain comfortable without any eye pain. During the surgery, your cataract surgeon will ask how you are feeling.

Many patients dont remember much of their cataract surgery. Even though no general anesthesia is used, which most surgical procedures require.

The medications used before and after surgery may also make it difficult for patients to remember what happened during the procedure, despite being awake the entire time.

It is common to experience some minor eye discomfort. However, any discomfort after the procedure is typically mild. Over-the-counter pain medication can be used short-term to alleviate any discomfort.

Your eye surgeon will also give you medical advice on how to handle any post-surgical discomfort before you leave the eye center.

Dropless Cataract Surgery: What Is It And Why Do We Prefer Not To Use This Approach At This Point

Cataract Surgery

We typically ask our cataract patients to use drops on a tapering regimen, over the course of about a month postoperatively. The drops include an antibiotic, a steroid, and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Some surgeons prefer to give an injection at the end of surgery that includes the antibiotic and steroid. This is done in place of the postoperative drops, though some patients still require topical drops if they have a little more inflammation than average. While the dropless method is more convenient for patients, it does have some disadvantages.

  • The injectable medication does not include an NSAID drug, and NSAIDs can be very helpful in preventing postoperative inflammation and swelling under the retina that can slow visual recovery.
  • The injectable medication contains a steroid which can raise eye pressure in some patients. If the pressure were to rise enough, surgery would be required to remove the steroid .
  • The injectable medication contains particles that can make the vision slightly hazy initially after surgery and take some time to clear.

While we will likely switch to dropless cataract surgery once the injectable medication available has been improved, for now the drops have advantages. Should you strongly prefer the option of injectable postoperative medication, we are willing to offer this to you, but will want to discuss it further with you first because of the above disadvantages.

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What Is The Recovery Period For Cataract Eye Surgery

The vast majority of cataract surgeries are performed on a day surgery basis, meaning you return home the same day. The procedure itself takes around 1520 minutes. Youll be fitted with an eye dressing that youll have to wear constantly for around 24 hours and while you sleep for the next few days.

Recovery is remarkably quick. Many people report better vision within hours of surgery. However, it tends to take around 6 weeks or so for the full results to be achieved. Youll have to take it easy for a few days and take care not to carry out any strenuous activities for the few weeks post-surgery. There might be mild discomfort for a few days that can be treated with eye drops and/or over-the-counter pain relief.

Patients Are Given Sedatives And Local Anesthesia

We know that the surgical process can be a source of stress for patients even though cataract removal is routine. This is why we give patients sedative drugs prior to surgery. These sedatives allow patients to be conscious but relaxed during the procedure. In addition, local anesthetic will be administer via eye drops to numb the pain and ensure the surgical procedure goes by smoothly.

In general, the sedatives cause patients to feel groggy during the surgery, though otherwise free from worry. Patients will generally not remember what occurred during the procedure since the sedatives help induce a relaxed state.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Cataract Surgery

Most people heal in eight weeks following cataract surgery. Your doctor will arrange checkups to ensure that your eye is healing properly.

Its essential to avoid some activities for a few weeks to allow your eye to heal. These activities include bending over, lifting heavy items, and touching your eye.

Around nine out of ten people who undergo cataract surgery see better afterward. Your vision may be blurry initially while your eye recovers.

Some patients notice that colors seem brighter following eye surgery because the artificial lens is clear. Your natural lens may have had a yellow or brown tint from the cataract.

Once your eye is fully healed, you may require a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

Removing The Old Lens

What to Expect on the Day of Your Cataract Surgery

Once you are numb, the surgeon will make a tiny incision in the outer covering of your eye, called the cornea. This incision will allow the surgeon to insert surgical instruments. During the removal of your cataract, a probe is inserted via the incision and high-frequency sound waves are employed to break the cataract into smaller fragments. The probe suctions out these fragments from your eye.

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Back To Basics Cataract Surgery Faq

Am I awake during cataract surgery?

A local anaesthetic and sedation is used for cataract surgery. Most patients doze during the surgery and are unaware of what is happening around them.

If you are particularly anxious, you can talk to your ophthalmologist and anaesthetist about having a general anaesthetic for cataract surgery.

Is cataract surgery painful?

Because a local anaesthetic and sedation is used, most patients are unaware of what is happening during cataract surgery and do not experience any pain or discomfort. Most patients doze for the operations entirety and are surprised when they are told it is all over. Some mild discomfort may be experienced in the days following cataract surgery. this discomfort should be alleviated with paracetamol.

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

There are risks with any type of surgical procedure, but thankfully the risks involved in cataract surgery are rare. Please talk to your cataract surgeon about the risks involved in cataract surgery.

Can a new cataract form after cataract surgery?

The intraocular lens inserted during cataract surgery is a powered lens, meaning that it has magnification or minimisation qualities. This ensures that you will not require thick glasses after cataract surgery. As such, the IOL power required for each eye can be vastly different. Before your cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will perform a series of highly specialised testing to ensure the correct lens power for your eye is chosen.

Healing & Recovery Tips

There are several eye care healing and recovery tips to follow for a quick, safe, and pain-free cataract surgery recovery.

These include:

  • Avoid driving on the first day following surgery
  • Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a few weeks
  • Avoid bending over immediately after surgery. This prevents extra pressure on the eye
  • Avoid sneezing or vomiting immediately after surgery, if possible
  • Walk around carefully following surgery. Avoid bumping into doors or other objects
  • Avoid swimming or using a hot tub the first week of recovery. This helps prevent infection
  • Avoid exposing your eye to irritants during the first few weeks of recovery. This includes dust, dirt, pollen, and wind
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes following cataract surgery

For the most effective cataract surgery recovery possible, follow your eye doctors detailed instructions on eye care and how to protect it following the procedure. Usually, these instructions are given to you to take home with you on the day of surgery.

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Are You Awake During Cataract Surgery

Reviewed by Vance Thompson, MD

Yes, typically you are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia and enables your cataract surgeon to communicate with you during your procedure.

If the idea of being awake during cataract surgery concerns you, fear not you will be given oral medication before the procedure so you are fully relaxed and feel no discomfort.

You also may be given intravenous medication to help you remain calm and comfortable throughout the procedure.

The medication typically makes it difficult for most patients to remember their experience in the surgical suite after the brief 10- to 15-minute procedure has been completed and they are in the recovery area.

Within a short period of time after your procedure, you will be able to leave the surgery center, but you cannot drive after cataract surgery. You must have someone with you to drive you home.

Page published on Monday, January 14, 2019

Page updated on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Cataract Surgery And Anesthesia Types

Cataract surgery

The majority of cataract surgeries performed in the U.S. are done with a local anesthetic and IV sedation.

The local anesthesia may be accomplished in one of two ways: either an injection of anesthetic around the eye or anesthetic eye drops placed on the eye, often combined with an injection of a small amount of anesthetic into the front of the eye at the very beginning of surgery.

The injection of anesthetic around the eye generally produces a deeper anesthesia for the surgery than the topical method but it also comes with increased risk. There is a very small chance of potentially serious bleeding behind the eye and a rare chance of inadvertent penetration of the back of the eye with the injection needle.

The topical anesthesia has lower risk but does not provide quite as deep of an anesthesia, although the overwhelming majority of people having cataract surgery with a topical anesthetic do not experience any significant pain during the procedure.

The other difference between the two anesthesias is with that topical anesthesia you maintain your ability to move your eye around whereas with injection anesthesia the eye muscles are temporarily paralyzed so your eye doesnt move during the surgery. When you have topical anesthesia it is important for you to try to stare straight ahead at the light in the microscope above you. Most people accomplish this quite easily.

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