6 Essential Steps to Follow to Prepare for Cataract Surgery

cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is a common medical procedure involving the removal of cataracts that make your vision blurry, cloudy and hazy, and affect the way you see colors.

During the procedure, your ophthalmologist will create a small opening through which the natural lens of your eye, which has hardened and become yellow, is removed. It will then be replaced with a new clear artificial intraocular lens or IOL.

After a successfull cataract surgery in Dubai, you will experience an improvement in your vision and depth perception, allowing you to see more clearly. This will help make reading, watching TV, driving, and doing other activities easier and more enjoyable.

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

Although cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure that lasts for two hours or so, the treatment requires some preparation on the part of the patient.

By preparing well for the surgery, you will have fewer things to worry about before and after the procedure. This will help hasten your recovery and prevent complications.

If you will be undergoing a cataract removal procedure soon, follow these steps to prepare well for your upcoming surgery:

1.Make sure you understand the whole procedure.

Understanding what will happen during the cataract surgery is a crucial step in preparing for the procedure. It will help you minimize your worries and develop a better mindset as you head towards the operation.

Make sure you understand everything your ophthalmologist tells you about the surgery. These would include the steps involved, how much anesthesia will be used, and what you will likely feel or experience during and after the procedure.

Your eye specialist will also provide you pre-surgery instructions, which you have to follow. If you can’t carry them out for any reason, speak with your ophthalmologist.

Moreover, make sure you know what to expect after the procedure. You have to understand that patients have different recovery times and post-surgery results. Some people may see vision improvement within a few days, while others will take longer.

You will be given post operative medicines and lubricants to use to prevent infection and inflammation, so that the operated eye recovers “calmly and quietly”. 

Additionally, know that you may also feel some itchiness and mild discomfort around the affected area after the surgery.  As long as you don’t rub your eye, the itching will go away after a day or two.

Expect to have several follow-up visits as well after your surgery. You have to see your specialist frequently post-surgery to ensure your eyes are healing properly, and that any adverse changes can be monitored and managed.

2. Follow all pre-op instructions.

Your ophthalmologist will give you a set of specific pre-surgery instructions that you need to follow to a T.

These include:

  • Skipping your blood-thinning medicine such as heparin or warfarin (if you are taking any) three days prior to your surgery unless your surgeon says otherwise
  • Fasting for at least eight hours before the procedure
  • Avoiding alcohol the night before surgery
  • Administering the prescribed eye drops as instructed the night before surgery
  • Getting plenty of sleep

3.Ask someone to drive you to your surgery and pick you up afterwards.

Although a cataract operation is an outpatient procedure, and thus, not a major surgery, it is not advisable for you to drive or take the bus home once it is done. This is because of the anesthesia and numbing eye drops that will be administered to you.

The effects of these medicines and your surgery can impair your vision and make it hard for you to see clearly, who means driving, getting on a bus, or hailing a cab can be highly difficult.

To avoid any difficulties and to ensure that you get home safely, ask someone to drive you to and from the surgery center or accompany you if you are commuting.

4. Arrange time off from work.

Since your vision will be impaired for the next 24 hours or so, if you are working, take a day or two off from work.

Driving, reading, and staring at your screen will be difficult for the next few hours and days and, as such, you won’t be able to function properly and be productive. Because of this, it would be best to skip work and get some rest.

If your job requires heavy lifting, frequent bending, and exposure to dust and dirt, you need to prolong your time off from work.

You also need to get protective eyewear, which you have to wear for the next few weeks if you are exposed to dust, dirt, and pollen in your workplace.

5. Prepare your bedroom or rest area.

Since you need to get plenty of rest post-surgery, make sure you have everything you need in your bedroom or lounge to take it easy for the next day or so.

If your ophthalmologist prescribed some medication to take or eye drops to administer after the procedure, buy them beforehand. Make sure you keep them in your bedroom or any place where you plan to spend most of your time recuperating.

Additionally, clean the room ahead of time to remove dust or dirt that could irritate your eyes. Change your bedding and curtains if needed, too.

6. Wear comfy, easy-to-remove clothes on the day of your surgery.

Wearing soft, cool, and non-itchy clothes during your cataract surgery can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed as you undergo the procedure.

Additionally, choose a shirt or blouse that you can remove easily. This is because after your surgery, you have to wear an eye shield. To avoid disturbing the area, put on a top with buttons or a loose, wide neckline instead of one that has to be pulled over your head.

During surgery, the lubrication fluid for your eyes may also drip down to your top. Because of this, you will do well to bring an extra shirt so that you will have something dry and comfy to change into before going home.

Lastly, avoid wearing makeup or putting on perfume, cologne, or any heavily scented cosmetic product.

Before getting the surgery, ask your doctor any questions you may still have. Also, schedule your post-op check-ups so that you won’t forget to do it after the procedure.

Following these steps will help you prepare well and become more confident during your cataract surgery. Also, keep in mind that complications are few and unlikely to occur with this type of procedure. As such, you can expect a successful operation, especially if you chose a seasoned eye specialist.

When you also follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions, your vision will go back to normal and even improve. You can then go back to enjoying the things you love doing that require clear eyesight, such as reading, binge-watching TV shows, driving, sightseeing, and photography.


Dr. Millicent M. Grim, Specialist Ophthalmologist & LASIK Specialist, is the Medical Director of Gulf Eye Center in Dubai. Since 2002, Gulf Eye Center’s highly qualified ophthalmologists and optometrists/ODs have been successfully treating a wide range of eye conditions using advanced techniques. They also provide comprehensive eye care and vision restoration procedures for people of all ages.

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