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Cataracts - what to ask your doctor

Definition

You are having a procedure to remove a cataract, a cloudy area in the lens of your eye. This should help improve your vision.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your eye (or eyes, if you need to have two cataracts removed).

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about cataracts; Lens implants - what to ask your doctor

Questions

What is a cataract?

How will cataract surgery help my vision?

  • If I have two cataracts, can I have surgery on both of them at the same time? How long after surgery before I notice my vision is better?
  • How long before I will be able to see? Will I still need glasses after surgery? For distance? For reading?

How do I get ready for surgery?

  • When do I need to stop eating and drinking before surgery? Do I need to stop taking or change any of my medicines?
  • What else do I need to bring with me on the day of surgery?

What happens during cataract surgery?

  • What type of anesthesia will I have? Will I feel any pain during the surgery? How do you make sure I won't move during cataract surgery?
  • Will I need a lens implant?
  • What are the risks of cataract surgery?
  • Will I have to spend the night in the hospital? How long will I need to spend at the surgical facility?

What happens after cataract surgery?

  • Will I have to wear an eye patch?
  • Can I shower or bathe at home? What activities can I do while I recover? When will I be able to drive? When can I be sexually active?

Review Date: 10/21/2010
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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