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Cataracts - what to ask your doctor

Definition

You are having a procedure to remove a cataract. A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and starts to block vision. Removing the cataract can help improve your vision.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your eye after surgery.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about cataracts; Lens implants - what to ask your doctor

Questions

What is a cataract?

How will cataract surgery help my vision?

  • If I have cataracts in both eyes, can I have surgery on both eyes at the same time?
  • How long after surgery before I notice my vision is better?
  • Will I still need glasses after surgery? For distance? For reading?

How do I get ready for surgery?

  • When do I need to stop eating and drinking before surgery?
  • Should I have a check up with my regular provider before surgery?
  • Do I need to stop taking or change any of my medicines?
  • What else do I need to bring with me on the day of surgery?

What happens during cataract surgery?

  • How long will the surgery take?
  • What type of anesthesia will I have? Will I feel any pain during the surgery?
  • How do the doctors make sure I won't move during cataract surgery?
  • Is the cataract removed with a laser?
  • Will I need a lens implant?
  • Are there different types of lens implants?
  • What are the risks of cataract surgery?

What happens after cataract surgery?

  • Will I have to spend the night in the hospital? How long will I need to spend at the surgical center?
  • Will I have to wear an eye patch?
  • Can I shower or bathe at home?
  • What activities can I do while I recover? When will I be able to drive? When can I be sexually active?
  • Do I need to see the doctor for a follow-up visit? If so, when?

References

Ferri FF. Cataracts. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:section 259-259.e1.


Review Date: 11/5/2014
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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