Cataract Surgery Q&A Courtesy Key-Whitman Eye Center What to Expect Before, During and After W e’ll all develop cataracts as we age which will gradually affect quality of vision. But there’s good news! With cataract surgery, the old lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intra- ocular lens. It’s safe, it’s painless and effective! If you’re considering laser cataract surgery, you most likely have a lot of questions. Key-Whitman’s Dr. Martin L. Faber answers some of the most commonly asked questions. Question 1: What are the common symptoms of cataracts? The most common complaint is night vision difficulties, where they experience a lot of glare, halos and starburst symptoms, especially when driving. People also complain of a haze or fog obstructing their vision and will notice their vision gets blurrier over time. Question 2: How do I prepare for cataract surgery? Before your procedure, you’ll undergo a preoperative exam to ensure you are physically healthy enough to have surgery, determine the level of correction needed and to review the type of intraocular lens options available (monovision, ac- commodative, multifocal, astigmatic correction, etc.). Before a patient’s procedure, Key-Whitman’s counselors walk the patient through the process, review insurance cov- erage and ensure the lens option the patient selects best meets their goals. Question 3: When is it time to get cataract surgery? When cataracts have worsened to the point where they pre- vent you from performing day-to-day tasks and interfere with your quality of life, it’s time to consider cataract surgery. Essentially, we assume how well we see is normal. But if it gets to the point where you’re afraid to drive at night, can’t see well enough to safely take your medication or do house- hold chores, and feel a loss of independence due to failing vision, cataract surgery can allow you to enjoy life again. Question 4: What misconceptions do people have about cata- ract surgery, and what can I really expect during the procedure? In the past, cataract surgery was quite invasive, there were fewer lens options, and healing took much longer. The biggest misconceptions people have is that the procedure is painful and complicated. That couldn’t be farther from the truth today. Question 5: What can I expect following cataract surgery? After your surgery, the surgeon will review the procedure 12 COLLIN COUNTY Living Well Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 with you and address any questions you have. Typically, patients leave with a protective eye patch, which will be removed during their follow-up visit the next day. Key-Whitman uses the most advanced technology avail- able, so healing occurs more quickly today and with fewer complications. Once the eyes have healed, most patients are surprised. They can see clearly again and notice how colors are much more vibrant than what they could see with cataracts. Depending on the type of intraocular lenses patients choose, many become less dependent on glasses. You should also be aware that the surgeon won’t operate on both eyes during the same visit. Surgeries are typically sched- uled one to six weeks apart, with three weeks being the aver- age time. This allows plenty of time for the first eye to heal and the patient to realize the full extent of correction in that eye. Cataract Surgery Checklist Prior to surgery: 1. Schedule a consultation and pre-operative eye exam to verify you are a good candidate for cataract surgery and if any medications you take could interfere with the surgery. 2. Meet with a patient counselor to discuss questions, ver- ify insurance coverage, finalize the type of intraocular lens you would like implanted and schedule surgery. 3. If your eye surgeon recommends antibiotic and non-ste- roidal anti-inflammatory drops prior to surgery, receive your eye drop prescriptions and review the drop se- quence required (drops per day, type of drops, period of time prior to surgery, etc.). 4. Arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you on surgery day as you won’t be allowed to drive yourself home due to the twilight sedation. Day of surgery: 1. Go through pre-surgery prep, vitals check, numbing drops and twilight sedation. 2. Undergo surgery (typically lasts 20 minutes or less) and recover from sedation. 3. Recap surgery with surgical team, during which time vitals are checked and a piece of tape or protective eye shield is applied to the eye. 4. Review post-surgical instructions. 5. If on an eye drop protocol, receive post-surgical drops and drop sequence. 6. Plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day. Abide by any physical restrictions required by the surgeon. Days and weeks following surgery: 1. Next day, return for first follow-up visit with a friend or family member and schedule next follow-up visit. 2. Diligently follow any drop protocol provided.