A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

How long does it take to remove a cataract?

by Damion Wasylow 3 January 2017 12:40 PM

Cataract surgery is very common in the United States, with more than 3 million Americans electing to have the procedure each year. With advances in technique and technology, including laser-assisted surgery, cataract surgery is now faster and more effective than ever, both in terms of the procedure itself and patient recovery.

Diagnosis and Scheduling

If you get regular eye exams from a comprehensive vision care practice, your eye doctor will likely identify cataract development long before symptoms require surgery. Cataract progress will be monitored closely over time. In some cases, patients live with slow-developing cataracts for years before they noticeably impact daily life. Eventually, however, all cataracts require surgery to correct.

When the time is right, you can review your surgical options with your eye physician and schedule your surgery. Depending on availability, the time from decision to procedure is generally less than a few weeks.

Cataract Surgery Procedure

You’ll likely be asked to arrive at the eye surgery center early in the morning on the day of your procedure. You will complete some paperwork and be prepped for surgery. Assuming you choose laser-assisted cataract surgery, once inside the operating room, the surgeon will use the computer to precisely map your eye’s surfaces. This takes very little time. A laser will then be used to make a tiny incision. The old, damaged lens is broken up and removed, and a new artificial lens implanted. The whole procedure takes just a few minutes. 

Of course, it’s always far more important to complete the procedure effectively than quickly, so that will be your eye surgeon’s focus.

Recovery Time

Immediately following surgery, you will spend about 30-60 minutes in a recovery room to allow your eye(s) to adjust. Many patients report improved vision before even leaving the recovery room. Still, you will need someone to drive you home. It’s recommended that most patients wear an eye shield on-and-off for a few days. Depending on how quickly your eyes adjust, and in lieu of any complications, you may see clearly within a few hours or it may take a week or two.

If you believe you or someone you love may have cataracts, contact us today to schedule your consultation with North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care.



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