A Clearer View

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

Is Cataract Surgery Painful?

by Damion Wasylow 31 August 2021 05:11 AM

smiling patient talking with eye doctor

Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. That means the surgery requires only very small incisions, often requires no stitches at all and the patient returns home the same day. It also means most people experience little to no pain during cataract surgery.

Anesthetic Eyedrops

Just before the cataract surgical procedure, a member of the surgical team applies topical anesthetic drops to numb the patient’s eye, so they will not feel the actions of the surgery. These eyedrops do a remarkable job of preventing any perception of pain during the procedure for the vast majority of patients.

Minimally Invasive Procedure

A principal reason cataract surgery is typically painless is the procedure’s minimally invasive nature. In most cases, cataract surgery requires just one tiny incision (surgical cut).

Through that single incision, the ophthalmic surgeon inserts a small probe that uses ultrasonic energy to break apart the cataract damaged lens. A second probe is then inserted through the incision to suction out the pieces. Finally, the surgeon again takes advantage of that same incision to insert the new artificial lens implant. The incision is typically so small that it can be left to heal on its own, without the need for stitches. The entire procedure generally takes less than 15 minutes. 


Patients are typically ready to be driven home within 30-60 minutes after the procedure. Many report improved vision before even leaving the surgery center.

Most patients experience few or no side effects. Others may have mild short-term side effects, such as cloudy or blurred vision or redness, that should clear up within a week or two. The risk of more serious side effects is less than 0.5%, making cataract surgery one of the safest procedures in the country. 

Drs. Gregory Snodgrass and Matthew Gray of North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care are two of the region’s most skilled and respected eye physicians, and they specialize in performing traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgery.

If you or someone you love is considering cataract surgery, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to schedule your consultation.



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