If you have been told that you have a cataract, you are definitely not alone. Each year in the United States, more than 2.5 million people seek cataract treatment and have cataract surgery. Thanks to advanced cataract surgical procedures and lens implant technology, cataract surgery is not only one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States, but it is also one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures that you can have. Cataract surgery is performed by a cataract specialist on an outpatient basis and usually only requires a few hours of your time from beginning to end.
What to Do the Week of Your Cataract Surgery
Most of your preparation should occur in the week leading up to your cataract surgery. While the procedure to remove your cataract is not a huge undertaking like some surgeries, it is still a medical procedure and you should make appropriate preparations.
One thing you will have to do is attend an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your procedure and go over your care plan. The doctor will ask you any last minute questions, and prepare what supplies will be needed for your cataract surgery.
Other things to keep in mind the week before your cataracts surgery:
- Don’t stop any medications prior to your surgery, especially any blood pressure medications.
- Let your doctor know what medications you're taking, the name, dose, & frequency are all important information.
- Make a plan with someone to drive you to your doctor’s office and then home after your surgery.
This is also a good time to get everything you’ll need to care for yourself post-surgery
What to Do the Day of Your Cataract Surgery
Most people are concerned about what they should and shouldn’t do on the day they are having their cataract surgery performed. The day might make you anxious, but there is very little you need to do to prepare.
Follow these guidelines the day of your cataract surgery:
- Do not eat or drink for 8 hours prior.
- If you need to take a daily medication, do so with a small sip of water.
- Do not consume alcohol.
- Remove hearing aids & contact lenses from the side that is receiving the surgical procedure.
- Remove make up or false lashes from your face prior to surgery.
- Don’t apply lotions/moisturizers too your face.
All of the above guidelines are to help your cataract surgeon perform their best and so their tools can work as intended. For example, face lotions may cause the skin on your face to become slippery and not allow the protective covers used by your surgeon to remain in place through your procedure.
Preparing for After Your Cataract Surgery
After you have completed your cataract surgery, all that’s left is recovery. As we’ve said, thanks to the innovative advanced cataract surgical procedures and lens implant technology, you will most likely have a light recovery experience. For after your surgery, we recommend picking up a pair of quality sunglasses - if you have none already - and a small bottle of artificial tears to carry on your person. These will help protect your eyes as they readjust to normal function.
You will also have to attend your follow up visits you scheduled prior to your cataract surgery. These will typically include a day-after, week-after, and month-after follow up per surgery.
Cataract surgery is one of the most safe, effective, and frequent surgeries performed in the U.S. today. It is minimally invasive and requires very few preparations on the part of the patient. We at Silk Vision & Surgical Center strive to make sure our patients are the best kept and cared for cataract surgery patients in Northern Virginia.