What to expect During Cataract Surgery
Arrival at the Hospital
Please arrive 2 hours prior to surgery time. You will be checked in and change into a gown on top. An IV will be placed and vitals will be checked. The nurse will be instilling several different eye drops throughout the morning. These drops need approximately 40 minutes to begin working, which is part of the reason you arrive so early before your scheduled surgery time. The drops will be anesthetic and dilating eye drops. Your eye will need to be well dilated for the surgery. (The dilation will usually last longer than 1 day.) Both the anesthesiologist and Dr. Velotta will see you prior to being taken back to the operating room. Please feel free to ask any questions at this time.
During the Cataract Surgery
You will be given numbing eye ointment to numb the eye itself. The skin around the eye and forehead will not be numb, so you may feel Dr. Velotta touching your cheek or forehead. Also, throughout the case cold water is used to cool the eye, which you may feel running on your face. The surgery itself should not be painful. If you feel pain at any time, please notify the doctor. The anesthesiologist will give a relaxing medication through the IV. This may sting as it is given. You will feel sleepy and relaxed, and will wake up a little more as the case starts, this is normal! Some people will remember the surgery, most do not, or only remember part of it. There will be a bright light in front of your eye, it is important to look at this light during the surgery. Any movement makes the surgery more difficult, so lay as still as possible. If you need to more or feel you will need to cough, let Dr. Velotta know first, she will stop the surgery, and let you re-adjust. This is very important. Dr. Velotta will talk to you during the case to let you know how it is going and what to expect. The surgery will be finished before you know it! Depending on the density of the cataract, it takes between 20-40 minutes in most cases.
After the Cataract Surgery
You will be taken to the post-operative area with a shield on your eye. Your family will be there with you. Dr. Velotta will go over any questions and give directions for the post-operative time. You will need to eat and drink something before you are release to go home. This is usually about 30 minutes of observation at the hospital or outpatient center. You may not drive yourself home. Wait 24 hours before driving or making any major decisions. Rest today.
What to look for after cataract surgery
Your eye may be scratchy, itching, burning somewhat, or feel like there is something in the eye, this is normal. Blood tinged tears or clear tears are also normal. Your vision will be blurry today. Keep the shield in place. If you have pain, you can take Tylenol. If this does not help, call Dr. Velotta at 847-566-5300, listen to all options and select the appropriate option. (After hours press #3).