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Cataract Surgery Post Op Instructions

Cataract Surgery Recovery And Typical Outcomes

Cataract Surgery Post Operative Instructions

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. More than 3 million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, and most people have excellent outcomes with no cataract surgery complications.

Past studies show:

  • Almost 96% of eyes that had no other problems such as other eye diseases prior to a cataract procedure achieved at least 20/40 uncorrected distance visual acuity, which legally is good enough to drive without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

  • In all eyes, including those with pre-existing eye conditions other than cataracts, almost 90% of all patients had good outcomes.

  • Fewer than 2% of eyes that undergo cataract surgery have sight-threatening complications after the procedure.

In rare cases, sight-threatening cataract surgery complications such as endophthalmitis an inflammation of the inside of the eye, usually caused by an eye infection can occur.

People who experience serious complications often have other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

A relatively common complication of cataract surgery that usually can be treated easily is posterior capsular opacification , which can cause your vision to become cloudy months or years after cataract removal. A simple laser procedure called a posterior capsulotomy usually can clear up the cloudiness and restore sharp vision.

Page published on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Page updated on Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Three Days Before Surgery

Begin using your eye drops in your operative eye as follows

  • Ofloxaxin use one drop in your operative eye three times a day.
  • Ilevro one drop in your operative eye once a day at bedtime.

Remember: You only need one eye drop from each bottle , in any order that you like. It doesnt matter which bottle of eye drops you use first. It is important that you wait five minutes between each eye drop, so that the medicine has a chance to be absorbed before the next drop comes along.

Two Weeks Before Surgery

DISCONTINUE: certain Glaucoma Drops: Pilocarpine, Isoptocarpine, Pilogel or Carbachol in the SURGERY eye only. Other types of glaucoma medication should be continued unless you are specifically instructed otherwise.

Continue: all other glaucoma drops should be continued.

Male patients taking FLOMAX® for urinary frequency MAY BE ASKED TO STOP PRE-OPERATIVELY. You MUST report using FLOMAX® to your surgeon. Special measures will be necessary to compensate for ocular effects of Flomax®. While patients taking Flomax® generally do quite well with surgery as long as the doctor is aware of it beforehand, they remain at higher risk of problems than the average individual. . If you are asked to stop, and stopping causes intolerable side effects, resume the medication and give us a call to inform us.

COUMADIN , Aspirin, and Plavix are usually CONTINUED, unless your INR test result is more than 3.0. The INR should be checked before surgery. Consult your primary care physician. THE EXCEPTION TO THIS WOULD BE PATIENTS UNDERGOING COMBINED Cataract ond Glaucoma surgery.

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Days After Cataract Surgery

It is normal for vision to be blurry in the beginning your eye needs to heal and adjust. Vision will normally begin to improve within a few days of the surgery. Its also normal for your eye to feel itchy and to experience mild discomfort for a couple of days your doctor will ask you to wear an eye patch or protective shield at night to ensure you dont rub your eye while you sleep. This discomfort should disappear after a few days.

Keep Out Of The Pool And Shower Carefully

Cataract surgery post op instructions

Exposure to water can put your eyes at risk of infection or irritation until your eye has healed from surgery. Give yourself at least one night of sleep before showering, and prevent the stream of water from hitting your eyes directly, says Eghrari. Ask your doctor when it is safe to begin swimming or using a hot tub. In most cases, that will be a few weeks.

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How Should I Sleep After Cataract Surgery

You will be provided with a protective shield for your eye that should be worn during sleep for at least the first week after your cataract surgery. This will help you avoid rubbing your eyes and/or causing an accidental injury to your eye while it is in the recovery phase. Aside from the eye shield, this procedure should not require any significant changes to your sleep routine. If you are a side sleeper, it may be beneficial for you to sleep on your non-operative side to help avoid applying any additional pressure as the eye heals. If eye pain or discomfort is affecting your sleep, you should address it with your doctor to help determine potential solutions or treatments.

When Is The Right Time To Have Cataract Surgery

There is no correct time to have surgery. For most, this is a personal decision that considers the speed of vision loss, the impact on lifestyle, and an assessment of the small risk involved with surgery.

Cataract surgery is generally required for 4 reasons:

  • Generally, cataract surgery is considered when you are not able to do the things you want to do because your vision has reduced due to a cataract.
  • Some patients who have strong glasses and have cataract in one eye will need to have cataract surgery on the fellow eye, even if no cataract is present, to balance the eyes.
  • Many patients with glaucoma, particularly the angle closure form, have early cataract surgery, often with a stent inserted, to help control their glaucoma and reduce the need for drops or more invasive cataract surgery.
  • For some patients who need very strong glasses, refractive lens exchange is a good option to decrease their need for glasses, particularly if they cannot tolerate contact lenses. This type of cataract surgery is entirely self-funded with no access to Medicare or private health fund rebates.
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    When To Call Your Doctor

    There are several situations when you should call your eye doctor.

    Pain/Unusual Redness/Injury if you develop pain or unusual redness at some point after surgery or you may have injured your eye, please call your doctor.

    Loss of vision if at any point during your recovery, your vision gets worse, you should alert your eye doctor.

    Pain, unusual redness and loss of vision could indicate serious complications which might require immediate attention. If you develop any of these symptoms, call your eye doctor right away.

    If you need a complete list of .

    NOTE: In certain situations, patients may be given prescriptions for generic drugs, depending upon the insurance.

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    Symptoms To Watch For After Cataract Surgery

    Post-Op Cataract Surgery: Instructions to Patient – English v5

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, please contact your ophthalmologist immediately:

    • Pain that persists despite the use of over-the-counter pain medications
    • Light flashes or multiple spots in front of your eye
    • Nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing

    No information here is intended to substitute for advice from a qualified medical practitioner. If you or someone else you know are about to have cataract surgery, make sure you ask your ophthalmologist to outline the best steps for recovery.

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    Do Not Rub Touch Or Aggravate The Eye

    Avoid rubbing the eye, touching the eye or aggravating the eye. Following the surgery, you might feel grittiness in the eye or even a feeling like there is a grain of sand in the eye. This can result from the very small incisions that have been made. Avoid touching the eye because that sensation will eventually stop and do not use soap near or in the eye. It is advisable to wear sunglasses and a hat to protect the eye from the sun and any foreign substances entering the eye.

    Recovered Vision Is Likely After Cataract Surgery

    It is important to follow your eye doctors instructions for at-home, postoperative care. Attend all follow-up exams so your doctor can ensure your eye is healing properly. If you experience problems with your vision, ongoing or worsening discomfort or pain, swelling, or redness, or loss of vision, report these to your doctor immediately.

    Because cataract surgery has been performed for decades, it has a high success rate and a low rate of complications. When you do undergo cataract surgery, the bulk of your recovery time will be at home, so it is important to understand exactly how to take care of yourself, which your ophthalmologist will make clear.

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    Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgeries

    Cataract surgery is becoming increasingly intertwined with glaucoma procedures. Given that a large number of cataract patients also have glaucoma, these conditions are tightly aligned. Multiple MIGS procedures that are performed at the time of cataract surgery range from device implantation, such as the iStent Inject or the Hydrus , to canaloplasties, such as the Omni surgical system and iTrack .

    Evaluate physically implanted devices with gonioscopy one to two weeks postoperatively, to make sure appropriate stent positioning. Trabecular meshwork-bypass stents are most commonly placed in the nasal quadrant, due to a higher concentration of collector channel entrances in that area.16 It is best to avoid gonioscopy in the first week post-op to avoid applying pressure on the eye.

    Causes of stent occlusion may include blood clots early after surgery or peripheral anterior synechiae in the months after the procedure. After surgery, it is recommended to remove glaucoma medications one by one in order to arrive at the minimum amount of drops necessary to maintain IOP at target.

    Hyphema is not uncommon in the first week after the procedure.17 If hyphema is mild, no additional treatment is necessary. If hyphema is severe, a washout of anterior chamber may be needed, so further management of these patients should be discussed with the surgeon.

    Checklist For The Day Of Surgery

    Cataract Surgery: Post
  • I instilled my surgery eye drops in surgery eye.
  • I took usual morning blood pressure, heart, seizure, chronic pain or tremor medications with a sip of water.
  • I have no cream, lotion or makeup on my face.
  • I removed my jewelry and left it home.
  • I have not eaten any food since midnight.
  • I did not drink any clear liquids for four hours before my surgery.
  • I am wearing a lightweight blouse or shirt with a zipper or buttons down the front.
  • I have arranged transportation to and from surgery today, and also tomorrow for my post-op appointment.
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    Immediately After Cataract Surgery

    Before you leave the day surgery, you will be prescribed eye drops or other medication to prevent infection, reduce inflammation and control eye pressure. You will need to have a family member or friend with you to take you home. Once you get home, it is recommended that you rest your eyes and nap. Several hours post-surgery, most people are able to watch some television or look at a computer screen for a short period of time. Because cataract surgery is only performed on one eye at a time, you may notice an imbalance in your vision until the second eye is operated on .

    Shield Yourself From Irritants Or Trauma

    When you come home from surgery, its natural to feel like something is in your eye, like an eyelash or particle of sand, says Eghrari. The eyes can be sensitive to the environment for at least a week after surgery. Wraparound sunglasses will not only protect you from exposure to dust, dirt and pollen, but also help with sensitivity to light. Your eye doctor will also provide you with an eye shield for you to wear while sleeping during this recovery time, to eliminate touching or rubbing of your eyes.

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    Post Operative Instructions Following Lesion Excision

    • Bathe the wound twice a day for 1 week after your surgery.
    • Use clean gauze squares and saline solution to bathe your wound.
    • When wiping the area, wipe from one end of the wound to the other with one swab and then discard. For each wipe across the wound use a fresh gauze square. You may need to wipe across the wound 5-6 times to remove any secretions / ooze adequately.
    • You will need to keep your wound dry so no swimming and use a clean face washer to wash your face rather than submerge your face in water.
    • Apply the ointment directly to the wound as prescribed.
    • Continue your ointment until your next appointment with Dr Glastonbury

    What Happens If You Bend Over After Cataract Surgery

    Cataract Surgery Post-Op Instructions

    You should not bend over after cataract surgeryfor at least 2 weeks. Bending over will place pressure on the eye and this may cause unnecessary complications to your eye. The main complication will be a delay in the healing process.

    Avoid bending over by following these rules.

  • No heavy lifting.
  • Try not to bump into things.
  • Avoid falling over.
  • Stay seated whilst putting on shoes, socks, pants and underpants.
  • Maintain a straight back.
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    Post Operative Care For Pterygium Surgery


    • Use eye drops as directed See below instructions.
    • Do not drive with your eye pad on.
    • Wear sunglasses You will be extremely sensitive to glare for 4-6 weeks following surgery.
    • You may read or watch TV, you will not harm your eye.
    • You may drive your car if you feel your vision is satisfactory BUT NOT on the day of surgery.
    • Bathe your eye twice a day for ONE WEEK following surgery with saline solution. You will need to use a clean gauze square for each wipe. Wipe from the inner corner of the eye then outward. Discard this gauze and use a fresh one for each wipe of the eye. DO NOT WIPE THE EYE, ONLY THE LIDS.
    • Use your drops after each bathing and at the other times as directed .
    • You can wash your hair under the shower if necessary but close your eyes.


    • If you experience severe pain.
    • If you develop a discharge from the eye.


    • Dont rub your eye.
    • Dont enter dusty or windy environments without sunglasses.
    • Dont be concerned when your eye remains red for up to 4 weeks following surgery.
    • Dont be concerned about a gritty sensation in your eye, your eye will remain irritated for some weeks following surgery, part of this sensation is caused by dissolving stitches and partly because your eye is dry.
    • Dont be concerned if your eye waters. You may want to increase your lubricant drops this will not harm the eye.
    • Dont go swimming until your next appointment with your eye doctor.


    How Long Is The Cataract Surgery Recovery Period

    The actual procedure generally only takes 15 minutes to complete, but your doctor will place you in a recovery area for around 30 minutes while the anesthesia wears off. Youll be asked to wear a protective eye shield for a few hours after the surgery and while you nap or sleep.

    Although most people report clear vision a few hours after surgery, dont be alarmed if you notice blurry, distorted, or wavy vision. Its also common to notice red or bloodshot eyes as the eye heals. If these symptoms dont subside after a few days, report them to your eye doctor.

    Expect to apply eye drops for the first few weeks after surgery. The entire recovery period generally takes anywhere from a few weeks to a full month. Since everyone heals differently, you should report your progress to your eye doctor and follow their recommendations closely.

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    What Can I Do After Cataract Surgery

    Following cataract surgery, most people experience little or no pain. Their vision is restored almost immediately. If there is a degree of discomfort or even mild pain, this is normal and the sensation is often relieved with paracetamol and the eye drops that have been supplied by the pharmacist.

    Vision may be blurry for the first few days if the cornea swells. This normally clears quickly within a few days to a week. If blurred vision persists beyond a week, please contact us or see your optometrist for a check.

    To help you recover on your first day after cataract surgery, here are some quick tips.

  • Remove the pad and shield.
  • Gently clean the eye if there is any blood or discharge.
  • Apply 1 drop from each bottle that has been supplied by the pharmacist. Leave 5 minutes between each drop. Then, close your eye for two minutes after putting in the drop.
  • Await your phone call from us.
  • If necessary, attend a post-operation review.
  • Replace the shield and wear at night only for 1 week.
  • The Do’s And Don’ts After Your Cataract Surgery:

    Post Cataract Surgery Eye Drops

    Immediately after the procedure, your ophthalmologist will give you a list of things you can and cant do. Following their instructions is extremely important to ensuring a quick and successful recovery. Take their advice seriously and dont be scared to ask any questions along the way.

    While everyones recovery period is different and your eye doctor will likely give you instructions specific to your eye, lets go over some of the general dos and donts following cataract surgery — starting with the things you can do:

    • You can watch TV
    • You can be on your computer
    • You can shower or take a bath
    • You can read a book
    • You can go for a walk
    • You should take your eye drops as directed
    • You should take it easy for at least a few days
    • You should be using your eye shield while you sleep
    • You should wear sunglasses outside
    • You should have someone drive you home after surgery
    • You should rest if you feel tired

    Now, lets take a look at some of the things you shouldnt do after your cataract surgery:

    • Dont rub your eye
    • Dont get soap or shampoo in your eye
    • Dont drive until your doctor allows it
    • Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting
    • Avoid swimming and hot tubs to prevent infection
    • Dont wear eye makeup for at least a month
    • Dont travel via an airplane
    • Avoid sneezing or vomiting after surgery
    • Avoid bending over after surgery to prevent pressure increase
    • Avoid dusty areas to prevent getting irritants in the eye

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