Cataract Surgery Recovery Timeline

by: Advanced Laser | April 21, 2015

An older man wearing glassesCataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can improve your vision and quality of life. The procedure involves the removal of the clouded natural lens of the eye, along with the placement of an artificial lens to restore vision. When you come to our office for treatment, Drs. John Belardo, Matt Brooks, and Scott Mendell explain the cataract surgery recovery timeline in detail so you know what to expect after surgery. In general, the recovery period is brief and side effects are minimal, especially if patients are in generally good health and follow our post-operative instructions. To learn more about cataract surgery recovery, contact our Oklahoma City, OK practice today.

The Day of Surgery

Immediately after surgery, we will move you to our recovery area, where you will remain for 30 minutes to an hour while the anesthesia wears off. Once the grogginess and fatigue have subsided, you can return home. Patients are required to have a family member or friend who can drive them home from surgery.

Patients should follow these instructions after surgery:

  • Upon your return home, we recommend that you take a nap to allow the anesthesia to wear off completely, and allow the eyes some time to heal.
  • For the first few hours after surgery, you should wear the protective eye shield that is provided to you to prevent any injury to the eyes.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activity.
  • Avoid watching TV or staring at a computer screen.
  • Do not touch or rub at the eyes.
  • Apply antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops as instructed.
  • Do not bend over.
  • Take acetaminophen if you experience discomfort.

The First Week after Surgery

The day after cataract surgery, you can return to most routine activities, such as watching TV or using a computer. The day after surgery, most patients experience an improvement in vision.

For the first week after surgery, you should continue to take it easy, apply your eye drops as prescribed, and take Tylenol if you experience discomfort.

You should avoid bending over, strenuous activity, touching your eyes, and swimming for the first week after surgery.

Side Effects to Expect

It is common for patients to experience side effects after cataract surgery, such as:

  • Cloudy, blurry, or wavy vision
  • Red eyes
  • Bruising under the eye
  • Dry eye
  • Discomfort

These side effects typically disappear within a few days to a few weeks. If you are concerned that your vision is not improving or that your side effects are getting worse, contact our office immediately to schedule a follow-up appointment.

Your Complete Recovery

While many patients experience a dramatic improvement in vision and a reduction in side effects within a few hours or days of surgery, it can take up to a month to recover from surgery. It is important to continue to exercise good judgment and follow safety precautions when it comes to the eyes. For example, avoid dusty environments, don’t touch the eyes, and use your prescribed eye drops as directed. By following your post-operative instructions, your cataract surgery is likely to be a success.

To schedule a cataract surgery consultation, contact our practice today.