What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a relatively simple outpatient procedure where the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). The entire procedure is generally done on an outpatient basis and usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. Patients may experience little to no pain and can usually return to their normal activities the following day.
The operation itself entails making a tiny incision in the cornea. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts an instrument about the size of a pen tip. This instrument breaks the cloudy lens into pieces and removes them from the eye. Once the cataract is removed, a cataract replacement lens is inserted through the same tiny incision and set into position. This replacement lens (IOL) may remove the need for glasses or bifocals.
What can I expect following the surgery?
Patients typically return home the very same day as cataract surgery. Eye drops may be prescribed to guard against infection and help your eye heal. For a few days, you may need to wear an eye shield. Everyone heals differently, but most patients see well enough to return to their routine activities within a day or so.