You may have heard that cataract surgery is done with the patient awake. If you’re considering cataract surgery, you may be wondering how it works and whether being awake during the procedure is safe.
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. They can cause a gradual loss of vision as well as glare, halos, and double vision. Because the lens is located directly behind your pupil, it’s impossible for a surgeon to operate on your eye without first numbing it.
If you’re having cataract surgery performed on one or both eyes at once, your doctor will numb your eye(s) before inserting a needle through the cornea to inject anesthetic into the eye. This takes just seconds to complete and can be done while you are sitting upright in a chair or lying on an operating table.
Once you’ve been numbed, your doctor will make small incisions around your cornea (or corneal incisions) so they can access the lens inside of your eye. Through these incisions, they’ll remove all of the cloudy material in the center of your lens (the nucleus), which will allow light to pass through more easily into
Are You Awake During Cataract Surgery?
The most common type of surgery for cataracts is “phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation (IOL).” The procedure involves removing the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial one.
To remove your lens, an instrument called an ultrasound probe is used to break up the natural lens into small pieces. This process is called emulsification. Next, these tiny bits of protein are removed from the eye through suction. Then, an artificial lens (IOL) is implanted into your eye to help you see better.
Do you feel anything during cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is done in the operating room with a local anesthetic. Most patients do not feel anything during the procedure, but some may feel pressure as the surgeon removes the cloudy lens.
After the surgery, your doctor will place a shield over your eye to protect it from injury. A patch may also be placed over the eye to help prevent irritation by blinking and rubbing. The patch is removed when you return home.
Cataract surgery is very safe and effective. However, there are some risks. But these can be minimized by following the instructions of your eye doctor carefully.
The most common side effects of cataract surgery include:
Eye irritation for a few days after surgery
Sensitivity to light (photophobia) for several weeks after surgery. Wearing sunglasses outside can help reduce this sensitivity
Reduced vision during the first few hours or days after surgery, which may be temporary or permanent depending on the type of cataract removed and other factors. This usually improves over time as the eye heals and any swelling goes down
Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed in the United States. The procedure involves removing the cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. Cataract surgery can be done on both eyes at the same time or on one eye at a time.
During cataract surgery, you will be given general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure. When you wake up after surgery, your vision should be clearer than it has been for years.
After cataract surgery, you may have some mild discomfort for several days. Your doctor will give you medications to relieve this pain.
The most common side effects of cataract surgery are:
Glare from light (photophobia)
Decreased night vision (nyctalopia)
Cataract surgery is a simple, outpatient procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia. Because it’s done under local anesthesia, you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
During cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove the cloudy lens of your eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens implant. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete and usually requires no stitches afterward.
You’ll need to take some time off from work or school after your cataract surgery, but most people return to normal activities within a few days.
How do they keep your head still during cataract surgery?
A headrest is used to keep your head still during cataract surgery. The surgeon uses the laser to reshape and remove the clouded lens in your eye. The laser moves across your eye very quickly, so it’s important that your head doesn’t move around or tilt during surgery.
To keep your head still, a headrest will be placed on top of your forehead and held in place by straps under each arm. You may also be asked to keep your chin down on the table.
The laser is inserted through a small incision in the cornea (the clear covering at the front of your eye). This is done without any cuts being made in your skin.
The head is held in place by three points of contact. The surgeon will use two or three points and the patient holds their head still with their chin on their chest. The eye is open during surgery so the surgeon can see what they are doing.
Once the eyes are opened, it is important to keep them open so that the surgeon can see what they are doing. There are several methods used to keep the eyes from moving during cataract surgery. Some surgeons use a lid speculum, which keeps the eyelids open for surgery. Other surgeons prefer to use sutures placed in each upper eyelid at the beginning of surgery. If a patient has a history of chronic blepharitis or dry eye syndrome, these sutures may be irritating and can cause irritation during surgery.
Other surgeons may use an external fixation device that allows them to hold your eye open with a suction device while they perform cataract surgery. This device keeps your eye open while they operate on it but does not allow you to blink while they operate on it
Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that can be performed in your doctor’s office or surgical center. You’ll be put to sleep for the surgery, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Your eye surgeon will first remove the natural lens of your eye, then replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The lens implant has been designed specifically for your eye, so it fits perfectly and helps you see more clearly.
The most common type of cataract surgery is phacoemulsification, which uses ultrasonic energy to break up the cloudy lens into tiny pieces that are cleared out of the eye during the procedure.
During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon may place an implant in your eye to keep it still during the procedure. This device acts as a temporary hold while your surgeon performs the surgery and removes your natural lens. It’s important that you don’t move during this time because any movement could result in damage to other parts of your eye (including vital nerves).
There are several ways to keep your head still during cataract surgery. The method that is used at Bayshore Eye Care will depend on the type of procedure you have. In many cases, we use a technique called phacoemulsification. This involves making a tiny incision in the eye, inserting an ultrasonic probe into the eye and breaking up the lens with ultrasound waves. To ensure that your head does not move during this procedure, special equipment is used to hold your head in place.
For some types of cataract surgery, we may use another technique called extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). This does not require an incision in the cornea (the clear outer surface of the front part of your eye). Instead, it uses a surgical tool called an aspiration device to remove most of your lens through an opening behind your iris (colored part of your eye). The remaining part of the lens is then removed through a small incision made behind your iris.
For ECCE, we often use a device called a retraction ring to keep your eye open during surgery so that we can see clearly inside it.
What kind of sedation is used for cataract surgery?
The most common type of sedation used for cataract surgery is local anesthesia. Local anesthesia blocks the nerves around your eye. This keeps you from feeling any pain during the procedure. Some doctors may also use intravenous (IV) sedation to help you relax during surgery.
Local anesthesia is usually injected into the front of your eye, but it can also be injected into your tear duct or behind the eyelid. The injection numbs the back of your eye so that you can’t feel anything happening there.
IV sedation is sometimes used if you have certain medical conditions or if local anesthesia doesn’t work well for some reason. IV sedation is more like general anesthesia than local anesthesia — it puts you in a deep sleep so that you can’t move or respond during surgery.
The most common type of anesthesia used for cataract surgery is called IV conscious sedation. This means you will be awake during the procedure, but you won’t feel pain or remember anything about it.
Other types of sedation include:
IV general anesthesia: You’ll be asleep during surgery and won’t remember anything about it afterward. This type of sedation is more rare than conscious sedation because it’s more expensive and more risky.
Local anesthesia: You’re not completely unconscious, but your eye surgeon numbs your eye before starting the procedure so that you don’t feel any pain during the operation. Local anesthesia can be used alone or with local nerve block techniques (see below).
Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed in the United States. It involves removing the clouded lens of the eye and replacing it with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
Before cataract surgery, you will be given an injection to numb your eye. You will also receive eye drops to numb your eye, which may cause some mild stinging or burning in your eye.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes. During surgery, a microsurgical instrument is used to remove the cloudy lens from your eye and implant an artificial lens in its place. An IOL is made of plastic and silicone.
How long is cataract surgery take?
Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to improve your vision. It’s a short, outpatient procedure that can be done in less than an hour. The entire procedure generally takes about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of lens implant used. After surgery, you’ll have a bandage contact lens placed on your eye to protect it from dirt and germs.
How long does cataract surgery take?
The length of time for cataract surgery varies from patient to patient. The procedure itself usually takes about 15 minutes or less. If both eyes need to be treated at the same time, it may take up to 30 minutes per eye.
What are the side effects of cataract surgery?
The most common side effects you might experience after cataract surgery are:
Bleeding under the conjunctiva (thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye) — often described as “seeing red” caused by bleeding behind the cornea (the clear front part of your eye)
Dry eyes — caused by changes in tear production after surgery or by wearing hard contact lenses
Blurred vision — usually temporary; usually improves after two weeks
The length of cataract surgery varies, depending on the eye and patient. The procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more.
In most cases, one eye is operated on at a time. If you have two eyes with cataracts and other problems, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, you may need to have both eyes done at the same time.
In some cases, your doctor may choose to do one eye now and wait until later to do the other eye. This is called sequential bilateral cataract surgery or SBCS for short. You may want to consider this approach if:
You’re worried about how vision loss in one eye will affect your ability to see well in both eyes together
You want only one day off work or school after surgery
You want less pain during recovery
If you’re over age 55 and have a history of dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), there’s a small chance that your dry eye symptoms could get worse after cataract surgery. In these cases, waiting until after age 55 may be best
Can you blink during cataract surgery?
The answer is yes, you can blink during cataract surgery. When the eye is being examined before surgery, it’s important to keep your eyes open because that will allow the surgeon to see inside your eye. You may be asked to look at a light or another bright object so the doctor can check for any signs of eye disease or other conditions that may affect your vision.
During surgery, there may be times when you need to keep your eyes open or closed. The surgeon will let you know when this is necessary and give instructions on how long to keep your eyes open or closed.
Cataract surgery usually takes about 20 minutes per eye (40 minutes total). If both eyes are done at the same time, it’s possible that an additional 40 minutes will be needed for both procedures combined.
If you were told that two separate surgeries were needed because there was more than one problem with your eyesight — such as cataracts and glaucoma — then those two procedures would take longer than the usual 20 minutes per eye (40 minutes total).
The short answer is yes. But there are a few things to consider before you get started.
During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist will make an incision in your eye, remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new one. You may hear this called phacoemulsification surgery.
One concern people have about cataract surgery is that they won’t be able to see when their eyes are open during the procedure. This is not true. In fact, you will be able to see everything happening during your procedure.
Blinking isn’t a problem because a surgeon places a device called an IOL implantation technique (I-LIFT) on your eye that keeps your eyelids open throughout the entire procedure.
Is cataract surgery very painful?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world. It’s a simple procedure that can be done in about 20 minutes, and it usually results in a very good outcome for your vision.
Your doctor will numb your eye with an injection before starting the procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision in your eye, removes the lens from your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens. This artificial lens can be made from plastic (known as an intraocular lens), or from gas-permeable lenses made from silicone and acrylics. The artificial lens is implanted inside the eye so that light can pass through it to focus on the retina at the back of your eye. Some people need both eyes corrected at the same time; others may need only one eye corrected at this time because they still have some vision in their other eye.
Most patients describe postoperative pain as mild or moderate — not as bad as they expected. In most cases, pain medication helps control any discomfort after surgery, but if you experience severe pain after surgery, call your doctor immediately because there may be something wrong with your eyesight or recovery from surgery that requires immediate attention