Cataract surgery is one of the most prevalent surgeries performed in the U.S. with over three million completed each year. Most people understand the importance of cataract removal, but many don’t know what happens after the surgery.
Ophthalmologist Thomas Henderson, M.D. commented, “Because of the tremendous advancements in cataract surgery in the past 3o years, patients spend 3 hours in the outpatient surgery center rather than 3 days in the hospital, generally have no stitches that need to be removed, have little or no discomfort, usually see well within a day of the surgery, and generally return to normal activity after slight restrictions for 1 week.”
Because cataract surgery is an out patient surgery, patients return home the day of the surgery. Most people can see right after the procedure and as the eye heals, vision should continue to improve. Cataract surgery is a permanent surgery. Once the cataracts are removed, they do not return.
Ophthalmologists ask that patients not drive or bathe for 24 hours after cataract surgery. While sleeping, patients must wear an eye shield for one week to avoid rubbing their eyes during sleep. It is also important to note that patients should not exercise, lift anything over 10 lbs., or bend over from the waist for at least one week. No eye make up should be worn for at least one week as well.