Health Science

What happens during cataract surgery?


Cataract surgery is the most common type of eye surgery in the world. It can be done on either one or both eyes, and usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. What happens during cataract surgery? This blog post will answer all your questions about cataract surgery, what to expect before cataract surgery, how cataracts are diagnosed and treated with cataract laser treatment. Lastly, we’ll look at some frequently asked questions following cataract surgery – when you can drive again after cataracts removal, whether it’s safe to exercise after cataracts removal, etc.

What is Cataract Surgery?

A cataract is a clouding in the eye’s lens that blocks light and causes cloudy vision. The cataract procedure aims to replace your cataracted natural lenses with an intraocular artificial lens implant (IOL).

Can cataract surgery be done under local anaesthesia?

In cataract surgery, eye drops are used to numb the eyes and a special machine gently pumps in some gas that makes you feel relaxed. Eye surgeons have found this type of anaesthesia is usually safe for cataracts patients with other health conditions such as heart disease or lung problems.

How are cataracts diagnosed?


Cataracts are diagnosed by a cataract eye doctor by examining the patient’s eyes. The cataract doctor will check for signs of cataracts using various instruments, such as an ultrasound biomicroscope or slit lamp microscope.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

There are two types of cataract surgeries – Phacoemulsification and Extracapsular Surgery. In cataract surgery, the patient is put under eye anaesthesia before a tiny incision of about one-third of an inch (0.85 centimetres) or smaller is made at the edge of your cornea (the clear window at the front of your eye). The cataract surgeon, through this tiny opening, will remove cataracts by an ultrasound probe. Then a foldable intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted into place. The cataract eye surgeon will then use stitches or glue to close the incision in your cornea.

What to Expect Before Cataract Surgery?

When you arrive at CCO for cataracts surgery, your eyes are checked by the cataract surgeon to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for cataracts surgery.

A nurse will then conduct an eye exam to measure your visual acuity using various instruments, take photos of your eyes and review your recent medical history with you.

What Happens After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, you may experience some pain and discomfort in the eye. Your cataract surgeon will prescribe medication to manage your pain and encourage you to rest with your eyes closed for a few hours following surgery.

You’ll need to wear an eye patch for one or two days after cataract surgery. You may also experience blurred vision, watery eyes, and/or discharge from your cataracts incision site during this time. Your cataract surgeon will prescribe medication for these symptoms as well.

How Long Does Cataract Surgery Take?

Cataract surgery takes about 15 minutes to complete.

When Can I Drive After Cataracts Removal Surgery?

You can drive immediately after cataracts laser treatment, but you should avoid driving at night for a few days until your eyes have settled down following cataract-removal surgery.

Can You Exercise After Cataract Surgery?

You can exercise after cataracts laser treatment, but you should avoid strenuous activity and contact sports in the first few weeks following cataract surgery to give your cataracts eyes time to heal and settle down.

How Long Will My Eyes Hurt After Cataracts Removal Surgery?

Your cataracts eye may ache for a few days following cataract laser treatment, but you should be able to manage the pain with simple analgesics.

About the author

David Evans

David is Editor-in-chief.

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