Pre-Op Instructions for Cataract Surgery: What Patients Should Know

By Gordon Wong, OD on July 15, 2016

An old man undergoing an eye examThe team of GW Eye Associates Inc has helped numerous patients in and around San Diego achieve better vision and improved eye health. This is thanks to our state-of-the-art approach to eye care treatment and treatment recommendations, from prescription lenses to insights on advanced cataract surgery.

Pre-op instructions are crucial for a complication-free surgery and a quick and problem-free recovery. In essence, your healing after surgery begins before the surgery is even performed. The pre-op phase for cataract surgery can require up to a month if not a bit more depending on the needs and circumstances of the patient. Let's take a moment to consider some basics of this pre-surgery phase.

Avoid Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and chewing tobacco are bad for your general health, and they can also have a negative impact on your healing and recovery. People who smoke are more susceptible to infection, and are more likely to heal slower than non-smokers. Because of this, patients are asked to quit smoking a few weeks before surgery and to continue avoiding tobacco products for a few weeks after as well.

Abstain from Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages can also have an adverse effect on healing and recovery. As with tobacco products, consider avoiding alcohol for a few weeks before and a few weeks after your cataract surgery for optimal healing.

Stop Wearing Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can alter the shape of your corneas and affect various aspects of your eye's anatomy. In order to get a proper fit for intraocular lenses (IOLs) placed during your surgery, it's important to stop wearing contacts before the procedure is performed. People who wear hard contacts will need to stop wearing their contacts sooner than people who wear soft contacts.

Stop Using Certain Medications

Blood thinners, glaucoma medications, and other kinds of prescription drugs can lead to greater surgical risks and affect a patient's healing experience. During the consultation, we can go over the various drugs you take and discuss which ones you may need to stop taking before cataract surgery.

Run Errands Around the Home

Preparing for surgery is just as important as avoiding certain behaviors and drugs. Be sure to do laundry, buy groceries, and so forth in the week leading to cataract surgery.

Arrange for Transportation to and from the Practice

You will be in no condition to operate a vehicle after your cataract surgery is performed. To ensure your safety, be sure to arrange for transportation from a loved one on the day of your procedure, both to and from the practice.

Take Pre-op Medications as Directed

Special eye drops and other medications may be recommended to prep your eyes for surgery. Be sure to take these pre-op medications as directed by your eye doctor.

What to Do the Night Before Surgery

The night before surgery, be sure to avoid thick liquids after midnight. Depending on the time of your procedure, you may also be asked to avoid any kind of foods after midnight as well.

What to Do the Day of Surgery

On the day of your cataract surgery, be sure to avoid food and thick beverages. Be sure to avoid wearing jewelry makeup, perfume, cologne, and facial lotion. Wear loose and comfortable clothing to the practice so you are relaxed when you arrive.

Learn More About Cataract Surgery

To learn more about cataract surgery and how it can help you achieve excellent vision, be sure to contact our team of eye care experts today. We at GW Eye Associates Inc look forward to helping you achieve excellent vision.

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