How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery
How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery Staff

Cataract surgery, also known as lens replacement surgery, is a relatively safe, common, and routine procedure. During the surgery, the doctor will remove your cloudy lens and replace it with a sophisticated prosthetic lens that is called an intraocular lens. You will be awake during the procedure, although you won't be able to feel a thing as you will be under local anesthesia. The whole procedure will be completed in under thirty minutes.

Even though this is a very safe, routine surgery, you will need to prepare for the procedure. This guide is here to help you learn more about how to prepare for cataract surgery.

What to Wear to Your Surgery

Cataract surgery does not take long to complete and is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you will be home the same day as your surgery. You won't be required to change into a gown, so you want to make sure that you are wearing comfortable loose clothing. You also might want to bring an extra top with you as there is a chance that you might experience some leaking fluid from your eye. You won't want to wear any form of jewelry to your appointment, any makeup or perfume.

Preparing for The Day the Surgery

Your ophthalmologist should provide you with more specialized advice on preparing for the day of the surgery. You might be told to avoid eating or drinking the day of the surgery; however, this can depend on your specific circumstances. For example, if you are going to be under local anesthesia, you may be required to avoid eating or drinking the day of your surgery. Some people will be put under general anesthesia for the surgery, although this is less common. If you will have general anesthesia, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything but water for no less than six hours before the surgery. You should talk to your doctor if you have diabetes. If you have diabetes, you will likely be asked to bring along a sweet drink just in case your blood sugar levels begin to drop.

You should provide your doctor with a list of all the medications that you are taking before the procedure. This is especially important if you are taking blood-thinning medications. Your doctor might ask you to stop taking some medications and will make appropriate arrangements to support this.

Your doctor will likely provide you with specialized eye drops to take in preparation for your surgery. These drops are a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories designed to support your recovery.

What Should You Bring with You?

You should bring your medication information with you the day of your surgery, this includes the names of all medications you are currently taking. Some people choose to bring in their medication bottles as this is often simpler than having to remember the names of your medications.

You will not be able to drive yourself home after your surgery, so you will need to bring a friend or family member with you to drive you home. Although the surgery itself will only last between 15 and 20 minutes, you will likely be in the hospital for about five hours.

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