“CAN I BEND OVER AFTER CATARACT SURGERY?” By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
This has got to be the most common question I hear from cataract patients. Their sister, neighbor or friend at church told them, “Be sure you don’t bend over after your cataract surgery.” We give out specific written instructions after cataract surgery that NEVER mention a bending restriction but this question persists. Where did it come from and why won’t it go away?
The where it came from is easy: in the past (more than 20 years ago) cataract surgery involved making a very large incision that was almost 180 degrees across the top of the eye. While there are some surgeons who have STILL not adapted the newer techniques, 99% make a very small incision (only 2.4 mm in my case). When the incision was much larger, bending over during the healing process put stress on that large incision and the many sutures required to close it.
Modern cataract surgery is generally done without stitches, patches or shots. That means that the restrictions after surgery are different too. For my patients I have only have 4 rules (besides what you do with the eye drops) for the first two weeks after cataract surgery: 1) no pushing on the eye, 2) no eye makeup, 3) no swimming and 4) do wear a plastic shield over the eye at night.
This only applies to my patients. Be sure that if you are having surgery with another ophthalmologist that you follow their instructions. That is good advice for any type of medical procedure, the instructions are intended help you have the best possible outcome. Now you can help me make this myth go away: be sure to read your post-operative instructions but don’t read too much into them!
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK Vision correction.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.