The cataract surgery is commonly eight minutes and painless. The intravenous calming medication has mostly worn off about the time one leaves the operating room. Over the next 15 minutes, vital signs are taken and post-op instructions given. Since IV medications have been in the patient’s system, he or she can’t drive or make any important decisions that day. The patient may go out to brunch on the way home but most patients just return home and take a nap for a couple hours.
The vision may be from 20/20 to quite blurry the first few days. By one week most patients vision becomes pretty good. The patient may return to all normal activities the day after surgery even golf or tennis if desired. One should not swim or rub the eye for two weeks post-op, but showering and face washing is fine.
Usually the patient will return to the doctor’s office one day post-op and then two to three weeks later. New glasses, when needed are usually prescribed at three weeks. When the second eye is to be done soon, it is scheduled after week three or four.
Eye drops are an important part of the post-op course. Usually there are three drops to be used. They start out one to four times a day depending on the brand and are decreased over four to five weeks.
The patients may return to their normal diet and medications immediately after surgery. One exception is blood thinners which may be started the day after surgery.