WHAT IS CATARACT SURGERY LIKE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
What exactly happens during cataract surgery? Many with cataracts are afraid to have the surgery because they don’t really know what it would be like. Just the word “surgery” scares them. It brings to mind pain, long recovery and time off from your favorite activities. Nothing could be farther from the truth with cataract surgery.
Modern cataract surgery is done without shots, stitches or patches. It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. We use only mild I.V. sedation to relax you. You don’t feel anything because there are numbing drops applied to the surface of the eye. Afterwards, you look pretty much the way you did on the way in: no patch over the eye, no black and blue bruising. We recommend that you take 2 days off your regular activities, one for the actual procedure and the next day to allow your vision to settle. Then the only restrictions are no eye make-up, swimming or pushing on the eye for 2 weeks.
On the day of surgery, you change into a hospital gown and then an I.V. is started. Once in the operating room you look at a bright light. There IS NO PAIN. You may see pretty colors from a prism like effect of the lens as we remove it and replace it with a tiny plastic implant. About 30 minutes after the procedure, you go home or even out to lunch. You do need a ride as some of the sedation may still be in effect but you won’t need extra help at home.
So, breath-in and breath-out, cataracts surgery is generally a quick and easy. It is the most common operation in America and patients are thrilled with the results. If every procedure worked as well as cataract surgery, the world would be a much better place!
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.