Cataract surgery has evolved to become a day case surgery, ensuring same day discharge back home.
Cataract surgery involves the removal of a clouded lens, with the replacement artificial lens being implanted. This is not an absolute as on occasions the cataract may be removed without implanting an artificial lens. The aim is always to improve the vision and improve the quality of life of our patients.
In this article, Gurjeet Jutley explains what happens after cataract surgery and what the post-operative management entails.
After the surgery
After your surgery, your vision should begin to improve. This will usually happen within a few days. It is important to bear in mind that the improvement is not immediate and may take some to time to see appreciable change. Healing is variable and as such an exact timeframe for improvement can never be given.
To note the full impact of surgery, it may take some weeks. It’s normal to feel some mild discomfort and itching after surgery, considering that metallic objects were placed inside the eye, the healing time being so short is rather remarkable. This discomfort should ease within a few days. If it continues for any length of time, seeking medical help is important.
Normally, patients are discharged with a patch or a clear shield to discourage you from rubbing it. Eye drops are imperative to reduce the risk of inflammation and infection, hence it is critical that these are used exactly as directed. Pressure reducing drops or tablets may be administered at the same time.
A follow up is usually arranged with the same team for optimal safety, within a few weeks from surgery. Until then, swimming and heavy lifting should be discontinued. Activities such as reading or watching TV may be challenging, but not harmful. A pair of readers over the counter may be sensible, until a full refraction is undertaken after the second eye has been operated on.
Complete healing from cataract surgery should take place within eight weeks. Some people may recover quicker, others may take slightly longer.
Activity after surgery
Any medical procedure will have an impact on your energy levels for a few days and you may feel more tired so resting is usually a good idea.
Initially, you may have some trouble judging distances which could impact your spatial awareness. While it’s possible to begin driving again after around 24 hours, it can be prudent to wait for a few days. Shortly after surgery, you should also take extra care going up and downstairs and pouring hot liquids.
Activities such as running or cycling should be avoided for a couple of weeks while your eyesight has a chance to adjust. Equally, you should avoid other strenuous activities such as weightlifting or aerobic exercise. Swimming, hot tubs, gardening and dusting should also be avoided for 1 to 2 weeks.
If you have cataracts in both eyes, your second surgery will be scheduled after careful assessment that the first eye has settled.
When to contact for help
After surgery, you will be assessed regularly to monitor recovery. You should contact a professional immediately if you experience any of the following;
- Pain that persists despite using painkillers
- Swelling to your eyelid.
- Vision loss.
- Multiple new spots or light flashes in front of your eye.
- Increased eye redness.
If you have any questions or concerns about your cataract surgery contact Dr Jutley today.