Cataract Surgery: Pre-op, Procedure, and Recovery

Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a surgical procedure used to treat cataracts, which cloud the natural eye lens. This surgical procedure involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to restore vision. Here is an overview of the pre-operative, procedural, and post-operative aspects of cataract eye surgery:

Pre-operative Phase

During the pre-operative phase, a qualified ophthalmologist assesses the cataract’s severity and discusses the surgical options available. The expert can perform an eye exam to determine the specific details of your cataract and any other eye conditions that may affect the surgery. Macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma can affect cataract surgery, but an ophthalmologist can identify and manage them effectively.

You can undergo eye tests, including measuring the shape and size of your eye and determining the IOL power needed. After an eye exam, you and your surgeon can choose the type of artificial lens that suits your vision needs. Here are some artificial lens options you can select:

Monofocal Intraocular Lens

Monofocal IOLs are designed to provide clear vision at a specific distance, mainly for distance vision. Patients with monofocal lens implants require eyeglasses after cataract eye surgery for a full range of vision. Many people with monofocal IOLs wear reading glasses or bifocals to address near vision needs.

Multifocal Intraocular Lens

Multifocal lenses are designed to allow you to see from various distances. With multifocal IOLs, you may have reduced dependence on glasses for various activities. Many people find that they can perform everyday tasks without reading glasses.

Toric Lenses

Toric IOLs are designed to correct astigmatism and address cataracts. Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea is irregularly shaped, leading to distorted vision. Toric IOLs can provide clear distance vision and may require reading glasses for near tasks.


Your surgeon will provide instructions about what you can eat or drink the night before the surgery. You may need to discontinue medications like aspirin and blood thinners that affect eye health. The expert can also prescribe eye drops or pills to prepare your eye for surgery, reduce the risk of infection, and control eye pressure.

Before surgery, the surgeon cleans your eye and gives you a sedative to help you relax. The professional can also use eye drops to dilate your pupil to prepare it for operation. An experienced ophthalmologist uses the phacoemulsification technique to perform cataract eye surgery. A surgeon creates a small incision in the eye’s cornea and employs ultrasound energy to break up the cloudy lens. The procedure can be laser-assisted for enhanced results. 

The expert removes the broken, cloudy lens and irrigates the eye to remove any remaining cellular debris. After removing the cloudy lens, the surgeon replaces it with an intraocular lens. In cataract surgery, the incision made in the eye is self-sealing, which means it doesn’t require stitches or sutures to close. The natural pressure within the eye helps keep the incision closed.


After the surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area, where you will rest for a short period. Your surgeon can offer you an eye shield or patch to wear for a few hours or overnight to protect the eye. The professional can also prescribe eye drops to help reduce inflammation and foster healing.

A qualified ophthalmologist may also suggest avoiding strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting and bending at the waist, for a few days after surgery. Avoid rubbing or putting pressure on your eyes since they can dislodge the IOL, cause irritation, or introduce infection. If you need to go outdoors, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright sunlight and UV radiation.

The recovery phase can include follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist to monitor your progress and adjust your prescription. Your surgeon can measure your visual acuity to assess the improvement in your vision since the surgery. Based on your progress and visual needs, your surgeon may recommend a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription to fine-tune your vision.

Book an Appointment for Cataract Surgery

If cataracts are impacting your quality of life, book an appointment to see an ophthalmologist for an eye exam and surgery. Qualified surgeons use techniques like femtosecond laser technology to create precise incisions to break up and remove the cataract. They can also utilize a 3D visualization guidance system to improve the visualization and guidance during cataract surgeries. Schedule an appointment to see your ophthalmologist today.