Frequently Asked Cataract Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about cataract surgery at the Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about cataracts and the available treatment options for cataracts. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following cataract surgery. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes for the first few weeks after cataract surgery. This page answers many of the most common questions regarding the healing and recovery process after cataract surgery.

If any of your questions about cataract surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at the Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens of your eye. For a more detailed description of what a cataract is, our website has a page dedicated to explaining cataracts.

Is cataract surgery safe?

Yes, in fact, cataract surgery is the most common types of surgery performed in Canada. It is also one of the safest.

Does cataract surgery hurt?

No. Cataract surgery is a painless procedure.

How long will cataract surgery take?

The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes per eye.

Do I need to have cataract surgery in both eyes?

Usually, yes. Cataracts typically develop in both eyes.

Why do I need to have surgery in one eye at a time? Can I do both at the same time?

We recommend doing only one eye at a time for reasons of safety, in case a complication were to arise in the first eye. But yes, both eyes can be operated on on the same day. This is called Bilateral Simultaneous Surgery. Your doctor will advise you which option is best for you.

How long is the recovery time after cataract surgery?

Recovery time following cataract surgery is 1 to 2 days.

Do I need a driver or a ride home on the day of surgery?

Yes. We recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to provide a ride home after undergoing cataract surgery. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you with calling and booking a taxi.

Do I need to use eye drops afterwards?

Yes. After undergoing cataract surgery, you will be provided with medicated drops to use for the first 6 weeks after surgery. Please use these as directed by your doctor.

How long until I notice an improvement in my vision after cataract surgery?

You will notice a distinct improvement of your vision immediately after surgery.

Can I play sports or workout after cataract surgery?

We recommend that you rest for 1 to 2 days. Light exercise (such as golf) is ok after 1 day. Strenuous exercise (marathons, heavy weight lifting) should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.

How long is the wait time before I can undergo cataract surgery?

Waiting time between being diagnosed and the scheduled date for your surgery depends on the severity of your cataracts. In severe cases, the wait time is 1 to 3 months, in moderate cases, 2 to 12 months, in mild cases 12 months or more. Your doctor will determine how urgently you need to undergo cataract removal.

After having cataracts removed, is there a chance they will come back?

No. However, there is a chance that you may develop a secondary cataract. This can be removed through YAG laser treatment.

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