Cataracts refer to opaque or cloudy lenses of your eyes. They can cause vision problems such as blurred, cloudy, or dim vision, seeing excessive glare when driving at night or when looking at bright lights, and even double vision. Clouding of the lens is often the result of the natural aging process, however, cataracts can be caused by certain medications, ultraviolet damage, and congenital conditions. Cataract removal surgery is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center and usually does not require an overnight hospital stay. Here are some things you can expect at an outpatient surgery center before and after your cataract removal procedure.
Before your cataract surgery begins, your vital signs will be assessed and medications will be administered. You will probably receive a pre-operative antianxiety medication to keep you calm and relaxed during your procedure, however, you will be awake. Cataract surgery does not require a general anesthetic, which means that you will not experience any unpleasant side effects from anesthesia such as nausea or vomiting.
Your eye surgeon will also inject the eye with a local anesthetic so that the area will be numb during your procedure. In addition, your surgeon may also instill some eyedrops into your eye to dilate your pupil prior to your cataract removal procedure.
Immediately after your procedure, the surgery center staff will gently raise the head of the table that you had your surgery on and then they will tape a metal shield over your eye. You will wear the shield until your eye is healed to protect it from injury. You will remain in the recovery area of the surgery center to rest for a while after your procedure and then you will be discharged.
You will not be able to drive home on your own so the staff will make sure that you have someone to pick you up before you can be formally discharged from the facility. You will be given an instruction sheet before you go home that will explain how you should care for your eye while you recover. The surgery center staff may also schedule your postoperative appointment with your eye doctor for the following day.
If you have scheduled your cataract removal procedure, consider the above surgery center care interventions. The entire cataract removal and intraocular lens implant procedure generally takes less than an hour, however, you may enjoy the benefits of clearer vision for years to come.