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Prepare for Cataract Surgery

Eating

Most patients will be awake during cataract surgery and will have local anaesthetic to numb the eye, therefore it is advised to eat a good meal and keep well hydrated before you come to the clinic/hospital for surgery. If you are going to be put to sleep using general anaesthetic or be sedated, then you will not be able to eat or drink before surgery, this can vary from 6-12 hours beforehand. Your eye clinic should advise you on eating prior to surgery, but also ask them to confirm this if you are unsure or have not been advised.

Transport Home

After surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself home so you must arrange for someone to collect you, whether this be a family member or friend or a taxi. Ideally it wouldn’t be recommended you take public transport as you may struggle getting around on this. Also, you may not be able to drive for several days after the surgeries, so it is always best to have someone that can drive you around or it’s a good excuse to put your feet up and rest.

Sunglasses

So, it may not be a sunny day when you have surgery and it may even be night time when you leave the clinic/hospital, but we would recommend you bring a pair of sunglasses. Even though it is likely that your eye that has been treated on will be covered, either by gauze or a plastic shield, you may find lights brighter than normal, such as the sun, car lights and street lights. Also, the sunglasses act as another shield to protect your eyes from dust, wind or any other debris that could get in your eyes which could potentially cause an infection.

Time Off Work

If you work, you will need to prepare taking some time off after the surgeries. This can depend on the type of job you do but can vary from 2 days to 1 week after each eye has been treated. When you return to work, you may need to take extra caution depending on your environment, for example if you work in a dusty atmosphere you will need to wear protective goggles for several weeks to protect your eyes. Speak to your ophthalmologist about the type of work you do and they will give the best advice on returning to work.