Cataract surgery is one of the most performed eye procedures in the world. During cataract surgery Dr. Jenkins removes the cloudy lens inside the eye and implants a clear artificial lens in its place to improve visual clarity.
The surgery is performed on an out-patient basis and with the advanced technology available at Jenkins Eye Care, it is minimally invasive and not painful.
All cataract patients must adhere to several requirements prior to surgery day.
- Once a surgery day is scheduled, patients must see their primary care physician for a clearance for surgery. Patients will have a physical exam and the doctor must provide written approval for surgery.
- Dr. Jenkins will prescribe eye drops to be taken prior to the surgery day, and all patients should bring them to their surgical appointment.
- Patients who take medications for high blood pressure or for their heart should take their medication that morning with just a small amount of water. Patients should consult with their primary physician before stopping any medication.
- Do NOT take any medications for diabetes like insulin on the day of your surgery.
- Bring all your medications, include any inhalers, with you on the day of surgery.
- If surgery is scheduled before noon, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.Patients may brush their teeth, but use as little water as possible.
- Wear comfortable clothing to the surgery center
- Do not wear any make-up or perfume on the day of surgery. Contact lenses should be removed.
- Arrange for a driver to and from the surgical center. Patients cannot drive nor should they take a bus. A taxi service is permitted if there is no one to provide transportation.
Day of Surgery
- Step One:
Upon arrival the nurse will take vital signs like blood pressure, pulse and temperature. The anesthesiologist will go over any medications patients may take and then administer an IV sedative to help patients relax before surgery. Patients will be awake during cataract surgery but drowsy.
Anesthetic or numbing drops will be administered. There is no pain during cataract surgery.
- Step Two:
The actual surgery takes approximately 15-20 minutes. With laser cataract surgery Dr. Jenkins makes a small incision with a laser. She then removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial IOL (intra-ocular lens). No stitches are needed since the incision is so small.
- Step Three:
Once surgery is complete, patients will rest in the recovery area and be given some food and something to drink. After a final check, patients will have a patch placed over the eye, be given a pair of sunglasses, and then released to go home. Patients can expect that by that time they will no longer be groggy from the medications.
After cataract surgery patients should go home to rest. Wear the patch and continue to wear sunglasses outside since most patients are initially sensitive to light. Use the prescribed drops as instructed.
Do not drink any alcohol or drive on the day of surgery.
Patients return to Jenkins Eye Care the next day. Patients may experience light sensitivity, a headache, scratchy or gritty feeling, discharge, or slight achy feeling. Patients may have crustiness in the morning, watering, redness and floaters. These are typical symptoms will dissipate as the patient heals.
Patients should continue to wear the eye patch for one week while you sleep. This prevents the patients from rubbing or touching their eyes while asleep.
Other precautions include:
- Do not drive after surgery for that day. Patients may resume driving the next day if their vision is clear and they feel safe.
- Continue to take the dye drops as per instructions.
- Avoid lifting anything heavy or straining.
- Avoid getting water in the treated eye to prevent the risk of infection.
- Do not rub or touch the eyes.
- Try to sleep on the side not treated.
- Refrain from wearing eye or face make-up for one week.
Patients should be able to return to most normal activities within a week like reading, walking, and watching TV. Within a month patients should expect to be mostly healed and able to return to all normal activities including golfing, swimming, and other strenuous activities.