Cataract Surgery: What Happens Before, During, After


We address the most frequent questions about cataract surgery, convalescence, risks and complications. Today cataract surgery is minimally invasive: there is no pain either during or after the operation and no great preparation is needed. Vision recovery occurs in approximately 24 hours and the risks are extremely limited. Dr. Badalà, an ophthalmologist who introduced important innovations in the field of cataract surgery in Italy, explains to us all the details of what happens before, during and after cataract surgery.

Before Cataract Surgery 

It is advisable to have a light breakfast and take all your usual medicines. In the case of anticoagulants or antiaggregants such as cardioaspirin or heparin, it may be advisable to suspend these medicines a few days to a week before the operation following the opinion of the treating ophthalmologist and the general practitioner. It is advisable not to wear make-up on your face or eyes on the day of surgery. Men who suffer from prostate problems and are being treated with specific drugs for prostatic hypertrophy must communicate the name of these drugs to the treating ophthalmologist, some of these drugs can create problems during cataract surgery, if the ophthalmologist being informed can prevent these problems. If an infection such as a tooth abscess, cystitis, or other infections is present before the operation, it may be appropriate to postpone the operation until the infection is resolved.

During Cataract Surgery 

Cataract surgery takes about 10 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia. Anesthesia can be obtained with eye drops or with an injection of anesthetic near the eye and in this case you cannot see or hear anything during the operation. It is important to stay still during the operation because even small movements of the hands or feet could create problems. If you suffer from claustrophobia it is advisable to inform your ophthalmologist in advance because there are a series of measures to overcome this phobia. The operation is performed lying down, for those who suffer from cervical or neck problems and struggle to lie down can benefit from some particular positions that can be obtained with the latest generation ergonomic operating beds. Once cataract surgery is completed, you put on a pair of protective glasses or a bandage and leave the operating room.

After Cataract Surgery 

About an hour after the operation the patient is discharged with some recommendations. It is essential not to touch the operated eye on the day of surgery. For this reason it is advisable to always protect your eyes with glasses during the day and a transparent but rigid shell during sleep. Trauma or rubbing of the eye can cause serious consequences. Avoiding crowded or dirty environments such as public transport is a good idea in the first days following the operation. Similarly, close contact with pets should be avoided in the early stages. The risk is in fact that of developing an infection which could be a very serious complication. Usually there is no pain after the operation, but a slight discomfort such as a slight sensation of sand inside the eye is quite frequent, as when shampoo enters the eye. This discomfort disappears a few hours after surgery. Washing your face with extreme caution so as to avoid getting water or soap inside the eye for at least a couple of days is recommended. Therefore it is advisable to wash your hair at the hairdresser or in any case with your head backwards for the first three days. Vision recovery after surgery is extremely rapid. Already the next day you can drive and work on the computer and you have an excellent view. Physical activity such as walking can be resumed the next day. For cycling you need to wait a week, while for running or swimming it is recommended to wait a month . 

Risks of Cataract Surgery 

Cataract surgery is today an extremely safe procedure. However, it too has its risks. The most important risk is that of an infection. For this reason it is essential to follow the antibiotic therapy prescribed by the ophthalmologist and to use common sense hygiene rules, such as avoiding dirty environments immediately after the operation, avoiding touching the eye, using a protective eyecup during the night of the intervention, common sense rules that are provided by the ophthalmologist and which are fundamental for the success of the operation. In the presence of very high myopia, cataract surgery can lead to an increased risk of retinal problems such as retinal detachment, therefore the risk/benefit ratio must be carefully evaluated and possibly correct predisposing factors before surgery.  In those who take anticoagulant drugs or suffer from severe arterial hypertension, there may be risks of bleeding associated with cataract surgery, for this reason those who are being treated with anticoagulant or antihypertensive drugs must ensure that the underlying pathologies are well controlled before undergoing to the intervention. Finally, particular care must be taken by those who suffer from Glaucoma and undergo cataract surgery because the surgery or subsequent therapy could lead to changes in eye pressure. Glaucoma sufferers must undergo careful monitoring of eye pressure in the vicinity of the operation and never spontaneously suspend glaucoma therapy after cataract surgery. Contact us if you have any doubts or questions on our telephone numbers 02 36523300 / 095 315494, it will be a pleasure for us to share our experience in order to help you deal with cataract surgery in a safe and peaceful way. In this regard, we invite you to visit the testimonials section where you will find the stories of patients who have already undergone surgery at our centers with the most innovative cataract surgery techniques.


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