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How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery: The 8-Step Guide

March 26, 2019  |  Posted By admin

Image of Doctor Shining Light in Middle-Aged Man's Eye

At Silk Vision, we care about your eye care. As one of the leading ophthalmological surgeons and cataract specialists in Northern Virginia, Dr. Silk is here to make sure you’re informed and feel comfortable about your upcoming cataract procedure. That’s why we’ve prepared this easy 8-step guide with tips and recommendations to get you ready for a healthy outcome and zero confusion. Before your cataract surgery:

1. Note any changes in your eye health.

Within two weeks of your surgery, pay close attention to your eyes. Keep an eye out for infection especially, as it’s important that your eyes are healthy and clear for a successful procedure. If you notice any redness, sensitivity, or discharge, call our offices immediately to discuss your symptoms with Dr. Silk. We may want to schedule an additional appointment to examine your eyes prior to cataract surgery. Also note and inform the doctor of any changes to your general health, such as a severe cold or breathing problems. 

2. Discuss your medications with the doctor.

Some medications may increase your risk of bleeding during the procedure or interfere with cataract surgery. Let the doctor know of any medications you may be taking to treat other conditions or symptoms. Dr. Silk may advise you to change the frequency of the dosage or to stop taking these temporarily. Do not make any changes to your medication schedule without first speaking with the doctor, particularly if you are diabetic or on treatment for reflux.

3. Use the eye drops.

You may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops to begin using a few days before the procedure. Dr. Silk will walk you through this regimen. Make sure to follow the treatment instructions and apply eye drops as indicated to help prevent any infection. The drops may be used on the day of the surgery, too. Please bring them with you to the procedure.

4. Do not wear contact lenses.

Avoid wearing contact lenses during the three days leading up to surgery. These may cause irritation to your eye, which could delay the cataract procedure. Get plenty of rest and wear your eye glasses instead.

5. Wear comfortable clothes and avoid cosmetics.

We think you look great exactly as you are, so please don’t dress up for surgery. Wear warm, comfortable, and practical clothing (avoid high heels) on the day of your surgery. Flat shoes with good, non-slip treading are best. You’ll be given a gown to wear over your clothes and will not need to get changed for the procedure. Avoid wearing any makeup, perfume or cologne, aftershave, spray-on deodorant, or hairspray to the surgical center. Thoroughly remove any traces of these, especially from around your eyes, the night before your procedure.

6. Follow the doctor’s advice on fasting.

Unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Silk, do not eat or drink past midnight on the day before your appointment. It’s also important to abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages (like wine, beer, or liquor) for at least 24 hours prior to cataract surgery. Following this advice will help you get a good night’s rest and better prepare your body for the procedure. If you’re diabetic or follow a prescribed nutritional regimen, discuss this with Dr. Silk in the days before the procedure to decide what’s best for you.

7. Prepare for your recovery.

Most patients go home the same day of surgery, but you won’t be permitted to drive and will need to arrange for a ride. We recommend asking a friend or family member to accompany you to the surgical center, wait for you during the procedure, and drive you home after. The entire process, from check-in to check-out, takes approximately three hours. Please bring a pair of non-prescription dark sunglasses to wear after surgery.

Patients typically return to normal activities within a couple days, but your eyes may have difficulty adjusting in the first few hours after cataract surgery. The doctor may limit activities like bending or lifting following the procedure, so it’s nice to arrange for extra help around the home, or when picking up post-op medications and attending follow-up exams. We recommend requesting at least two or three days off from work to allow yourself proper recovery time.

8. Ask questions.

At the surgical center, Dr. Silk will discuss the above details and more, but do not be afraid to ask any questions or request clarification if something isn’t clear. If you don’t fully understand pre-operative instructions, what to expect during the procedure, or how to take care of yourself after, talk to the doctor. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and well-equipped ahead of the procedure with the best knowledge and recommendations from our team. Plan to arrive about 30 minutes early to complete any last-minute paperwork or to discuss your questions with the Silk Vision team.

Now you’re ready for cataract surgery! But please note: the suggestions in this article are meant to be a general guide and may not be applicable or appropriate to your unique eye care needs. Always refer to and follow your specific instructions from the doctor. We want to make sure your visit to our surgical center is safe, pleasant, and productive. If you want to discuss cataract surgery at Silk Vision, schedule an appointment today!