Cataracts are a common age-related condition where the lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. This leads to progressive vision impairment. Cataracts are easily treated with a simple surgical procedure to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.
Today, most cataract surgery is done on an out-patient basis, and the entire process usually takes no more than two hours from check-in to heading home! The procedure itself usually lasts less than fifteen minutes and is virtually painless.
Typically, patients are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia (where you are put to sleep) and enables Dr. Atwal to communicate with you during your procedure.
You will be given an oral medication prior to the procedure to help you relax during your surgery. Before you are taken into surgery, the area around your eye will be cleansed and drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil. An anesthetic shot or numbing eye drops will be used to make sure you’ll be comfortable throughout the surgery. You should not feel pain or discomfort during your procedure.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision and can resume everyday activities within 24 hours after cataract surgery. However, depending on which intraocular lens you have implanted, it can take between two to six months to completely adjust and for you to achieve your optimal vision. Because IOLs are made of durable material, it’s rare that they need to be replaced.