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Cataract‌ ‌Surgery‌ ‌Before‌ ‌and‌ ‌After:‌ ‌Procedure,‌ ‌Recovery‌ ‌Tips,‌ ‌Risks,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Side‌ ‌Effects

Cataract‌ ‌Surgery‌ ‌Before‌ ‌and‌ ‌After:‌ ‌Procedure,‌ ‌Recovery‌ ‌Tips,‌ ‌Risks,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Side‌ ‌Effects

Cataract Surgery


If you have a cloudy vision and difficulty in reading due to a cataract, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the cataract and to implant an artificial lens in your eye to improve the vision. This article answers some common questions about cataract surgery.

What is a cataract?

The clouding of the lens in the eye is known as a cataract. The proteins in the lens break down little by little and cause things to look blurry or less colorful. Cataracts develop very slowly and interfere with your vision. Age-related cataracts generally involved both eyes to a varying degree.

When do you need cataract surgery?

Cataracts can cause many problems, including difficulty reading, working on a computer, driving in the dark, etc. In such situations, surgery is the best solution. Ideally, surgery should be done whenever patients develop difficulty in their day-to-day activity or when doctors advise them to do so.

Types of Cataract Surgery

  • Phacoemulsification

    During phacoemulsification, the surgeon cuts a small opening in the cornea. A tool sends sound waves to shatter the clouded lens into tiny pieces, which are then sucked up by a small vacuum. Next, the new lens is positioned. The cut is small enough to heal without stitches.

  • Extra-Capsular Surgery

    During this type of cataract surgery, the eye lens is removed by your cataract surgeon, leaving only the elastic capsule covering the lens. This is left partially attached to help in the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL). This procedure requires a smaller incision than the conventional Intra-capsular cataract surgery and is performed if the lens is harder to break.

  • Laser-Assisted Surgery

    A computer-guided laser is used in this procedure for making the surgical incision, capsular opening and breaking of the lens to pieces. After that the surgery is completed using the normal phacoemulsification technique.

What to expect before and after cataract surgery?

It is generally very safe and is performed as an outpatient procedure. However, if one has health issues like diabetes, the eye specialist might want you to have it under good control before proceeding with the surgery. You might have to stop taking medicines that might impact your surgery and recovery. Your eye surgeon or ophthalmologist will measure your eye's shape and size and your cornea curvature to set the right power for your lens. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops before and after surgery to prevent infection and to reduce inflammation. You will get topical or local anesthesia to avoid any pain. After that, your doctor will prescribe you a protective covering to be worn at night. You will be given guidelines to ensure a better recovery, and your doctor will schedule follow-up visits to monitor recovery.

Cataract Surgery Recovery Time

The sensation should start to return to the eye within an hour. However, it may take some time for normal vision to be restored, and the patient may notice side effects like grittiness in the eye or blurred vision, which is very normal. Such side effects improve within a few days. The patient will generally need new glasses. However, he may not be able to wear them until the eye is fully healed (typically after six weeks).

How to achieve the best cataract surgery recovery?

Here are some guidelines for a safe and quick recovery from cataract surgery:

  1. Avoid external water in the eyes for few days after the surgery as per your doctor's advice.
  2. Do not lift anything heavy or perform any strenuous activity for a few weeks as this can strain the operated eye(s).
  3. Try not to vomit or sneeze immediately after surgery as the condition of the eyes during this time is very fragile, and squeezing them tightly together can put pressure on them.
  4. Do not drive on the day after surgery, as the eyes will take time to adjust to the light. It can be very difficult for the patients to drive, so wait till your doctor advise you to resume driving.
  5. After surgery, be careful while walking around as the vision takes time to return. You may bump into things if you’re not cautious.
  6. Protect your eyes from irritants like dust or grime during the first few weeks as such particles can disrupt the healing process.
  7. Avoid rubbing your eyes even when you’re not recovering from the surgery, as this can permanently misshape the cornea if rubbed too often.
  8. Do not bend over, as this may put extra pressure on the eye, disrupting the healing process.
  9. Avoid hot tub baths or swimming to reduce the risk of infection as hot water or chemical water can harm the newly operated eye.
  10. Follow the dosage instructions of medicines prescribed by the doctor to ensure proper healing.
  11. Wear the prescribed sunglasses to protect your eyes from dirt, pollen, and dust and manage sensitivity to light.

Typical Outcome After Cataract Surgery

Depending on the size and nature of your cataracts, as well as the physiology and ability to heal, full recovery could take from four to six weeks, and any discomfort or soreness will disappear. The vision may be blurry, and the colors may seem brighter initially, but it gets better with time.

What are the side effects of cataract surgery?

Some rare side-effects of the surgery include:

  1. Corneal haze
  2. Cystoid macular edema
  3. Eye infection
  4. Swelling or inflammation
  5. Droopy eyelid
  6. Temporary increase in eye pressure 12-24 hrs. after surgery
  7. Retinal detachment

When to call the doctor?

If you face vision loss symptoms, pain that does not heal despite taking over-the-counter pain relievers, have very red eyes or see eye floaters or flashes of light, contact your doctor immediately.

If you are experiencing any cataract symptoms or have any related queries, contact us at Netralayam. We provide the most efficient eye care services to our patients.



The mission of Netralayam is to provide tertiary level superspeciality eye care service of highest quality to all sections of the society through a team of competent, committed and compassionate professionals in a patient-friendly environment.

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