Do you think cataract surgery at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS could be right for you? If so, you probably have a lot of questions, like how much time you will need to take off from work. To help you determine if now is the right time for you to get surgery, keep reading to find out what you can expect during the recovery process.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After Cataract Surgery?
You can generally expect better vision just one to three days after cataract surgery. At this point, you should be able to go back to work. However, it may be between three and 10 weeks before you enjoy the full benefits of your procedure. To help your eye heal as quickly as possible, it is imperative that you avoid rubbing your eye. Furthermore, it is vital that you use your eyedrops exactly as directed even if you feel like you don’t need them.
When Will I Be Able to Drive After My Surgery?
You should wait at least three days following your surgery before you think about driving again. You should not be surprised if your depth perception is impaired while your eye is recovering. Due to the possibility of impaired depth perception, it is highly advisable that you go up and down stairs as little as possible and have a loved one pour hot liquids for you. If you have to navigate stairs, hold on to the handrail and take your time.
What Other Restrictions Should I Be Aware of?
One of the most important post-op restrictions you must adhere to is to not rub your eye. During your initial consultation, Dr. Patel will advise you on when to wear your eye protection to prevent you from rubbing your eye unintentionally. Your post-op care guidelines will be reviewed again after your surgery to ensure you are clear on all of the instructions. It is important that you wear your eye protection when you sleep to prevent rubbing and irritating your healing eye.
Another very important restriction you must adhere to is refraining from vigorous exercise for two weeks post-op. This includes such strenuous activities as spinning or cycling vigorously, running, and lifting weights. Similarly, you should avoid stooping over to pick things up during the first 14 days following your surgery.
More Restrictions to Know About
You may not get a perm or dye your hair for 10 days following this eye surgery. If it is about time for you to get another perm, make sure you get it done before your cataract surgery. Similarly, make sure you won’t need to dye your hair within 10 days of your scheduled surgery. Furthermore, for one to two weeks following your surgery, you should not dust your home, tend to your garden, swim, or soak in a hot tub. Also, do not wear eye makeup during this time.
Note that it is okay to take a bath or shower and wash your hair on the same day as your surgery. However, it is extremely important to keep soap, shaving cream, hairspray, and shampoo out of your eye. Also, while it is not a hard restriction, you may want to keep away from lotion or face cream for a week or two.
Other FAQs Answered
How Do I Apply the Eyedrops?
The first step to applying your eyedrops is to wash your hands very thoroughly with antibacterial soap and hot water. Then, you should tilt your head back and use your left pointer finger to gently pull back your lower eyelid. Next, you should drop the appropriate dose onto the inside of your lower eyelid. Finally, you should close your eye and keep it closed for 60 seconds to give the medication plenty of time to get where it needs to go.
Can I Take Aspirin After My Procedure?
No, you may not take aspirin or any other blood thinner for the first few days following your procedure. The reason you cannot take any blood-thinner, including NSAIDs, is that such drugs may affect your body’s ability to clot blood. It is also worth noting that MAOIs, a class of antidepressants, are also known to thin the blood. If you take an MAOI, ask your psychiatrist if it is okay for you to stop taking this drug for several days.
How Much Should I Sleep After My Procedure?
It is ideal that you sleep as much as possible during your recovery period. The more time you spend in the final stage of the sleep cycle, the sooner your eye will heal completely. It is also worth noting that it is important to sleep on your back with your head elevated above your heart while your eye is in the early stage of recovery.
What Do I Need to Do Before My Surgery?
One of the most important things to do prior to your cataract surgery is to ensure you have a ride to and from your procedure. Due to the medication, you will receive prior to your surgery to ensure you remain comfortable, you will not be able to drive for 24 hours post-op. As a reminder, you should not expect to be able to drive during the first three days post-op due to the possibility that your ability to perceive distance will be affected.
Another important step you should take is to purchase a pair of non-prescription dark sunglasses. You should wear dark sunglasses on bright days for a full year after your surgery. It is vital that you wear sunglasses on your way home from your procedure even if your vehicle has tinted windows. You should not be surprised if your eyes are sensitive to light for the first few hours post-op. Also, advise your supervisor that you will need at least one to three days off from work.
What Should I Avoid Prior to My Surgery?
One of the most important things to avoid prior to your surgery is consuming alcohol within 24 hours of your procedure. It is important that your blood pressure is normal at the time of your procedure, and alcohol consumption can affect your blood pressure. Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive to keep you comfortable, you may need to avoid eating or drinking anything at all for several hours pre-op.
For three days prior to your surgery, you should avoid wearing contacts to mitigate the risk of eye irritation. Also, when you come in for your procedure, you should not wear spray-on deodorant, aftershave, hairspray, cologne or perfume, or makeup. Furthermore, you should strongly consider avoiding wearing heels. Rather, wear shoes that are easy to walk in and warm, comfy clothes.
Will I Be Put to Sleep Before My Surgery?
Dr. Patel will discuss your anesthesia options with you during your initial consultation once your general health has been discussed. Most of the time, local anesthesia is administered, so you will not be put to sleep. This leaves the line for communication open. However, you may be given an oral drug before your surgery to help you stay calm. If you get local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, you will not need to fast prior to your surgery.
How Long Will My Procedure Take?
Cataract surgery can usually be completed in under a quarter of an hour. Once all of your paperwork is done, you will be led into a comfortable, private room where you will be given a gown to put on over your clothes. Then, your eye area will be sanitized and you will be given eye drops that will dilate your pupil.
After that, you will probably be given numbing eye drops or an anesthetic shot to ensure you feel neither discomfort nor pain. Once your comfort is ensured, your cloudy lens will be removed. After that, an intraocular lens will replace the lens that was removed.
Find Out Today If You Qualify
Approximately one to three days after cataract surgery, you will notice a significant improvement in your vision, and you should be able to return to work. However, you should not expect to see as clearly as possible until three to 10 weeks post-op. If you think this procedure could improve your eye health and quality of life, schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Patel at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS today.