What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Senior man and woman on a hike

Thanks to advancements in technology, now more than ever, people undergoing cataract surgery can do more than just clear their cloudy vision. Many times, their cataract surgery leads to some of the best vision of their lives.

To achieve those visual goals, you’ll first have to undergo the world’s most performed procedure: cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a new, clear lens that will never develop cataracts.

Understandably, patients often have many questions when it comes to cataract surgery. However, we’ve noticed that a majority of those questions relate to what happens before and during surgery — patients are often so focused on the procedure itself that they forget to ask about their recovery. So you can feel informed and confident, let’s consider what to expect after your surgery.

First, just how long does cataract surgery recovery take? While recovering from the procedure itself may only take a few days, the time it takes to achieve your desired visual outcome after surgery may be longer and will depend upon the type of cataract surgery you had — traditional or advanced.

That said, a typical patient can expect blurry vision and scratchy eyes for a few days post procedure. Many times, just a few hours after their procedure, patients report rapidly improving vision. The immediate discomfort tends to be resolved within a week, provided you follow all of your doctor’s instructions.

Care after cataract surgery includes being seen by your doctor one day, one week, and one month following your procedure. Eye drops are safe after cataract surgery and are encouraged to prevent infection and promote healing. Your doctor will send you home with instructions on the type you should use and how frequently and which drops to avoid. For cataract surgery to fully heal — meaning all inflammation is gone — expect it to take around three weeks.

Vance Thompson Vision tells patients to plan to be off work for one to two days, possibly longer depending on how quickly your blurry vision resolves. This also applies to how soon you can drive after cataract surgery. During the week following your surgery, you should not lift more than 20 pounds, avoid getting water in your eyes, and wear no makeup. As for doing housework after cataract surgery — and any other household and yard work tasks — we tell patients to lay off for as long as they’d like. You’re welcome.

Learn your cataract surgery options during your consultation at Vance Thompson Vision. To schedule, call us at (605) 361‑EYES (3937) or fill out our contact form.