Any advice as I prepare for cataract surgery?

Posted , 10 users are following.

After having a successful emergency vitrectomy performed over nine months ago, I'm now scheduled for cataract surgery to remove the one that has grown/formed in that eye. The plan is to have a near distance lens inserted and get a new eyeglass prescription (progressives) 6-8 weeks afterward. Anyway... I'm nervous. Any advice for how to prepare for the surgery? Any advice for the recovery period? How did your procedure go? Thanks in advance for any tips and/or personal experiences you can share!

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  • Posted

    First, be ready to do the prescription eyedrops you will get. Mine started three days before surgery and continued post-surgery. You will have to wear the plastic (that's what I had) eye cover each night, to protect the eye. I bought diving goggles to prevent any water, from taking a shower, to get into the eye. Not the round, competition pool swim goggles, but the larger goggles.

    I had cataract surgery done on both eyes, three weeks apart. My post-surgery, now almost 3 months, hasn't turned out as good as some. I have some Negative Dysphotopsia in each eye. IOW, a black vertical bar on each temporal side of both eyes, that shows up sometimes. Light sensitive is what I'm being told and will go away. Don't know about the "going away" thing, but my vision in my left eye, the really bad cataract one, is now 20-20 and the other eye is 20-25. Vision is unbelievably good.

    Bottom Line: Simply take care of the eye and really, really follow the "don't's and do's" that are given to us.

    And btw, I'm 69 years old. Even with these bars, I couldn't be happier getting this surgery (laser asst.) done.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice and for sharing your story, TRoper. My pre-op appointment is coming up. I will be given a physical exam and will receive instructions for surgery preparation. I imagine that will include the eye drops you mention. I'm so happy to hear that despite the 'bars' you are happy with the results!

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    • Posted

      If I remember from my early days on these forums there was a guy from UK (James) who had his surgery done through NHS and wasn't prescribed drops prior to surgery. He had complications afterwards and was given drops then. (steriod and anti biotic drops). Perhaps these aren't covered so aren't prescribed but good precaution to use prior to surgery. They aren't covered in Canada either - out of pocket expense but some health plans with employers will cover. Mine were covered 80%.

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    • Posted

      It's odd that there doesn't seem to be a standard with the eye-drop regimen. I had to apply two drops of an antibiotic solution only on the morning of the surgery. Just prior to the surgery, the surgical team applied a group of drops several times. After I was wheeled in for the surgery, they applied a numbing solution. Following surgery, my orders were to apply the antibiotic drops 4 times a day for a week and an anti-inflammatory in decreasing applications for a month.

      Almost everyone says the operation is painless, but I did have a painful moment in my surgery. They probably didn't get the anesthesia quite right. It was only for an instant and not a big deal.

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    • Posted

      You're right no standard instructions for eye drops but to me makes sense to start them prior to surgery - even if 9x out of 10 everything goes right. Some people ate more prone to infection anyways but I were err on side of caution every time. My after surgery drop regime was same as yours. Antibiotic drops for a week and steriod for a month (tapering off).

      Must have bee hard not to move if you felt pain! Wonder if there are nerves in that area that if nicked cause the pain.

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    • Posted

      Are you in America or the UK ?

      Have not heard of anti-inflammatory use in the UK. They also never want to prescribe preservative free eye drop because they are more expensive.

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    • Posted

      i get the NHS may not want to prescribe and cover those drops but as a patient wouldn't you rather use them even if paying out of pocket yourself? I think they should at least advise patient of them. I just recall James being very upset with them as he would gladly have paid for them than go through what he went through. He had no prior knowledge about the drops.

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    • Posted

      True but couldn't NHS doc write prescription? In James' case they had to after he experienced problems (although he still had to pay for the drops) so they are able to write prescriptions.

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    • Posted

      Su.An - I just followed the instructions regarding eye drops provided by my surgeon's office. He's been doing eye surgery for over 25 years, so I didn't question any of his instructions. I didn't have any issues, but I agree with you that it's best to err on the side of caution. Regarding the painful moment I had during the surgery, it was at the end of the procedure and felt like an instrument pressing hard against my eye. In that brief moment, I had a quick concern that it might pierce my eye. I didn't move, but said immediately to the surgeon that it was painful and he apologized.

      derek76 - I'm in the U.S. Both of my eye drop prescriptions were covered by insurance. I trusted my doctor as to the need for them as well as when and how long to use them.

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  • Posted

    Hi:

    I think everybody has been a bit nervous before necessary eye surgery.

    The good news is that, as far as I can tell, such surgeries are quite successful in the vast majority of cases; I could not be happier with my toric Symfony lenses and the excellent surgeon who installed them.

    In terms of prep for the surgery I would recommend:

    1. Being as fit as possible. Keep to your normal work-out routine prior to surgery.

    2. Be well-rested prior to surgery -- ie lots of sleep and naps if necessary; take it easy after surgery until your surgeon says its ok to be active again.

    3. Have a whole foods, natural diet.

    4. Avoid stress, have your support team dialed in with respect to getting you to the surgery and helping you afterwards.

    5. Follow your surgeon's suggested protocol exactly.

    6. Have an upbeat playlist that always puts you in a good mood. Even listen to it during the procedure if the surgeon says that's ok.

    7. Let your surgeon's staff know immediately if there are any post-surgical complications that concern you.

    8. Stay positive. Studies have shown that a positive mental outlook is related to the release of dopamine and improved healing times.

    Please let us know how your surgery went.

    Good Luck!!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you, ed. I so hear you! All great tips you listed and I'm very, very appreciative of you taking the time to respond to my post. I've been trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (the holidays were a challenge though haha). I love the idea of listening to an upbeat playlist - music always has a positive impact on me! I'll work on that tonight!

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  • Posted

    wishing you the best. Try not to stress. There is no pain involved. it's worse getting teeth cleaned at dentist than cataract surgery. Best advice I have is to follow all the instructions given. Some only recommend wearing eye shield for day or so some say a week. But if you are a heavy sleeper or tend to rub your eyes (i tend to do that) so wear eye shield at night for longer. I wore it for 2 weeks. For me better to be safe. Also avoid getting water in your eyes or going near any dusty environments. Mist feel they are good to resume work within 48 hours but if you can take week off (I wish I had taken 2).

    Make sure you start drops 2 days before surgery and follow instructions goven for the drops post op.

    Also curious why the target is for near distance. If me (and going for monofocal lenses) I would target intermediate distance. Reason is the IOL in healing process moves back and forth (it is only m thick whereas your natural lens is 4mm thick. This could make you slightly more near or farsighted than the target. Maybe just something to ask ahead of time. And it could very well be your surgeon is targeting .25 or .50 further to accommodate for that.

    All the best. Update us afterwards as we'd live to hear how you made out and each experience reported potentially helps a future patient in the future.

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    • Posted

      Hi SueAn! After the surgery my eye prescription changed significantly and now my eyes are more than 2.0 D apart (-4.75 and -7.00). One surgeon recommended a distance lens and then do lazik on the good eye to bring the vision in sync. The other surgeon, who I chose to go with, recommended a near distance lens that would bring it closer to the current prescription in my good eye. Knowing, of course, I'll need to continue to wear glasses, and since I've always been nearsighted anyway. Both surgeons do not believe I'll develop a cataract in the good eye until I'm in my 80's (I'm 64) - unless of course I need a vitrectomy on the good eye since I'm at risk for another retinal detachment. So, I went with the conservative approach. It's disappointing because how wonderful it would be not to need glasses. On the other hand, I've worn glasses or contacts all my life. At this point, I'd just like to have clear vision again. I'm hoping I did not make the wrong decision - I guess only time will tell (aaaack!). Thank you for responding to my question. The good people on this forum who are reaching out to me - people like you - mean the world to me.

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    • Posted

      That is a big difference between your eyes. Should be much better after surgery. If you find yourself a bundle of net es ask them for something. i took an Ativan both times. Really helped.

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