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When Do You Need Cataract Surgery?

Everyone will eventually be affected by cataracts. They can be found in patients of all ages, with the average patient being 73. There is currently no medical treatment to reverse or prevent cataract development. Once formed, the only way to clear your vision is to remove them from your eyes.

Is Cataract Surgery Safe?

Many years ago, cataract surgery was considered risky, so the surgery was often postponed until the patient was virtually blind and disabled. With technical and medical advances, cataract surgery is now considered extremely safe and effective. The lengthy hospital stay has decreased to less than three hours in an outpatient setting. In fact, the surgery is often performed in less than 20 minutes. It is now one of the most successful medical procedures performed. Following cataract surgery, many patients experience vision that is actually better than what they had before they developed cataracts.

Realistic Expectations

Serious complications after cataract surgery are extremely rare. It is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Once removed, cataracts will not grow back. Some patients may experience a clouding of the thin tissue called the capsular bag that holds the intraocular lens. In most cases, a laser is used to painlessly open the clouded capsule and restore clear vision. A new eyeglass prescription will be given approximately two weeks after your surgery. If you have been referred to us for surgery, we will ask that you return to your eye care provider for the eyeglass testing and purchase of new eyewear.

Surgery Expectations

  • Three hours in the surgery center or hospital.
  • Your eye will be prepared with eyedrops for dilation, sterilization, and anesthesia.
  • A mild sedative will be given, orally or by IV, to deliver a mild sedation.
  • The surgery itself usually takes less than 20 minutes.
  • The vision will be blurry or cloudy and the eye will be scratchy. This can worsen over the course of the day of surgery, but usually improves over the next few days.
  • You need a driver to take you home following the procedure.

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