Cataract Surgery from a Patients Viewpoint

This illustrates a lens with cataracts.

Over the course of the last several years my eye doctor kept telling me that I had cataracts that were getting slightly worse each time I visited him for my eye exam. Well, last fall he said it was time to do something about them. He gave me the name of his associate who did all of his surgeries now. I made an appointment with him in early Jan. for my left eye. I was scared to death of having someone “cut” on my eye. I could just imagine laying on the operating table and seeing a scalpel coming toward my eye! About a week before my surgery, I met with the surgeon’s technician. She was very thorough about explaining the procedure to me. When she finished I was a little more calm about it but still nervous. I had to put special eye drops in my eye for a couple of days before the surgery to prep the eye. On the day of the surgery, I could not eat or drink anything that morning. They were going to give me a mild sedative instead for an anesthesia. I would be totally awake but be very relaxed they said, like I had a couple of margaritas! The nurse prepped my eye by washing it. Then she put dilating and numbing eye drops in the eye to be operated on and the other eye. She said the Dr. liked both eyes to have the same vision. They then taped my head down in a fixture on the bed to keep it from moving. So at this point I could only see the ceiling. I cleared my throat once and the nurse said best not to do that during the surgery because that would be like an earthquake at my eye. The assistant and the nurse chatted with me for a couple of minutes until the anesthesiologist and Dr. came in. They started giving me the medicine to relax me. I could not really feel it. The Dr. put this thing in my eye to hold it open. Then he put a sticky covering around my eye to protect the skin around me eye. Next he said to look at the lights shining in my eye. And to keep watching them. At one point the lights went out and I told him. Guess I got scared. Then the lights came back and bam, the Dr. said he was finished! Maybe it was 2 min. tops. Then the Dr. said here comes the worst part as he peeled the sticky cover off from around my eye. Then he gently cleaned the entire area with a cloth and said “all done”. He asked me to keep my eye shut until they rolled me back to the recovery area. There a nurse told me that I could open my eye. Everything was still blurry mainly because both eyes were dilated. They gave me a soft drink and some graham crackers to ease my hunger pains. It wasn’t long when the nurse said it was ok for me to leave. They put me in a wheelchair and rolled me out to the driveway where my wife brought the car. When I went to stand up, I could tell I still had a little of the anesthesia because I was a little dizzy. They had me wear the wrap around sunglasses they gave me at the Dr. office because the sun was very bright.
I went home and put the eye shield on and took a nap. That afternoon, I had my follow up appointment with the Dr. I am very sensitive to the dilating drops so my eyes were still heavily dilated still. They did a few test with the eye chart and said everything looked good. I was to come back in 10 days for a follow up exam. The day after my surgery, things were still a little blurry but the next day my eye sight was incredible! I didn’t wear my glasses at all that day. Everyone at church told me I didn’t look like myself without my glasses. As the days passed, my eyes acclimated and my vision wasn’t as good as it was 2 days after the surgery. I had to keep putting in the eye drops to prevent my eye from swelling and getting infected for about 3 weeks after the surgery. At the 10 day follow up exam, the Dr. checked my vision and prescribed my glasses. The Dr. said that was normal that my eyes acclimated to the new lens. I told the Dr. it was like I had Superman vision! I still don’t wear my glasses because most everything was in focus except things real far away. So, I do wear my glasses when I drive. I was surprised how much brighter and colorful things were after my surgeries. The Dr. fixed my second eye so the focus point was farther away (at my request) which made it easier to work on my computer. He said it was an intermediate lens. Overall, the surgery was not as scary as I envisioned prior to the surgery. It was the easiest surgery that I’ve ever had and I’m glad that I had it.

Copyright 2017 A Visual Affair