What happens during cataract surgery?
The eyelids and the surface of your eye will be cleansed and sterile coverings will be placed around your eye and face. Intravenous sedation relaxes you, but you are awake during the procedure. Dr. Rapoza makes two micro-incisions on the side of the eye to remove the cataract and replace it with a new, clear manufactured intraocular lens. Most cataract incisions are self-sealing, others may require sutures, especially if a toric or accommodating IOL is implanted.
Can I have cataract surgery done on both eyes on the same day?
Cataract surgery is usually performed on one eye at a time with the second procedure performed after the first eye has healed, usually one to four weeks later. This helps to ensure that there are no complications and it gives the first eye time to adapt.
Does cataract surgery hurt? How long does it take?
Cataract surgery typically takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending upon the type of cataract present, the technology to be used intra-operatively and the IOL selected for implantation. Most patients report minimal or no pain during the procedure and only mild discomfort afterward.
What happens after cataract surgery?
After a brief rest in our outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. You must be discharged to a person that is known to you (i.e. not an Uber or Lyft driver) and have someone other than you drive. You can use public transportation as long as you are accompanied. You should rest for the remainder of the day. You will be given a protective eye shield and prescription eye drops to use for a few weeks after surgery. The eye shield should be worn while sleeping or napping until the eye has fully healed. Strenuous activity, swimming or exposing your eye to dust or grime should be avoided for two weeks after surgery to avoid complications. Do not lift over 50 pounds for one week. Most other normal activities can be resumed.
Do I have to remove a cataract right away?
If your cataract is not significantly interfering with your vision, you may be monitored instead. However, if cloudy or blurry vision starts to affect your daily activities, like walking or driving, you will need to have your cataracts removed.
Will I have to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
This depends on the characteristics of your individual eyes and what type of implants you selected. Patients selecting standard monofocal intraocular lenses, will usually need reading glasses for near and intermediate vision.
Patients selecting accommodating intraocular lenses which are primarily designed to assist with distance and intermediate near tasks (i.e. computers, art, music) will usually just need a low power reading glasses only for near up close tasks (reading a magazine or book).
Toric intraocular lenses help patients with astigmatism, who would otherwise need glasses to not only assist with near and intermediate vision but also for their astigmatism even at distances. Most patients that receive toric IOLs do well with unassisted distance vision, but use glasses for intermediate and near activities. Toric accommodating lenses are also available, which can help improve not only the astigmatism, but also intermediate and near vision.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
Medicare and most commercial health insurance plans cover the cost of cataract surgery and standard IOLs, however, if you decide on an accommodating or premium toric lens, there is an extra costs for the upgraded lens.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery each year, with an overall success rate of 98% or higher. However, just like any surgery, there are potential side effects and complications, including:
Hazy vision (posterior capsule opacity, a clouding of the capsule of the cataract that is purposely left in the eye to support the IOL is an expected outcome, not a complication and is readily treated with a simple insurance covered laser procedure)
- Dislocated IOL
- Detached retina
- Increased eye pressure
If cataracts are starting to affect your daily life, contact us today.To Schedule a Cataract Evaluation with Dr. Rapoza, Call 800-635-0489 or Click Here With offices in Boston, Waltham and Danvers, MA