After the initial complete eye exam and tests, the surgeon and staff will go over the steps in scheduling and performing your surgery. Medical history information, medicines, and other preexisting conditions will be reviewed. You will be given instructions, times and prescriptions for medications. The surgeon will go over the procedure, side effects, and complications. Make sure you understand everything and ask questions needed to make you feel comfortable with the process. You will sign an informed consent for the surgery. You will receive steps or a timeline of the days leading up to your surgery. Antibiotics and other possible medications will begin prior to your surgery day. Instructions as to what to wear, list of medications, allergies, and any other information the surgery center or hospital may require will be discussed with you. The time you spend at the surgery center will be 2- 3 hours.
On arrival to the surgery center or hospital, you will check in and sign necessary papers. You will then begin your preparation for surgery. An IV will be started and you will be given medications to relax you. Eye drop medications will be instilled to dilate your pupil prior to surgery. The type of anesthesia to numb the eye may vary from topical anesthetic eye drops to an injection of anesthetic medication.
You will be taken into the operating room after your eye is ready for surgery and the area around the eye will be cleaned with a disinfectant. A sterile drape will be applied and a small lid speculum will be placed in the eye to keep your eye open.
The Cataract Surgery
A tiny incision is made in the cornea 1.5 to 3.0 millimeters in size in a certain manner as to usually not need any stitches after the procedure. A circular opening in the anterior capsule of the lens is made. Fluid is injected under to capsule to loosen the lens. A small probe which has a high frequency ultrasound tip is inserted to dissolve the cloudy lens material and aspirate the material from the eye. This type of procedure is called phacoemulsification. Once the lens material is removed the surgeon will insert the IOL into the eye in the same location as your own lens was located. These lenses are usually rolled up like a pancake and inserted through a tube through the same small incision. Once inside the lens unfolds naturally into place. In some cases an eye patch will be applied to the eye. Many surgeons do not use an eye patch.
You are taken to the recovery room where they make sure you are stable and feeling well enough to go home. You will then be discharged to go home. Post op instructions will be given by the staff for you to follow after discharge.