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Cataract Surgery

Mr Salvi answers the most frequently asked questions

After performing over 5000 Cataract surgeries, Mr Salvi answers the most commonly asked questions and concerns below.

    • The eye may feel slightly gritty and light sensitive.

    • The eye may look slightly pink and watery.

    • The vision will be blurred and slightly out of focus.

    All these should gradually start to improve from the next day after surgery. There should be no pain or swelling of eyelids. You can take paracetamol if there is any mild ache.

  • You will need to apply two different eye drops to the operated eye:

    • Antibiotic eye drop: This needs to be used 4 times a day for 1 week. This will reduce the risk of eye infection after surgery.

    • Steroid eye drop: This needs to be used 4 times a day to the operated eye for 4 weeks. This reduces the inflammation in the eye caused due to surgery and allows the eye to heal well.

    In some patients, additional non-steroidal eye drops may be required 4 times a day for 3 weeks.

    The drops need to be spaced apart well. Thus 4 times a day would require applications morning, afternoon, evening and night-time before going to bed. The drops regime can be commenced once you reach home after surgery on the same day. It is important that you leave at least a 5-minute interval between using the two different eye drops. If you use any other eye drops (such as artificial tears or glaucoma drops) please start using a new bottle after surgery to the operated eye.

    In some patients, the steroid drops may be required to be used more frequently (6-8 times a day) or for a longer period (8 weeks) and I shall instruct you accordingly.

    Please wash your hands thoroughly prior to applying the eye drops.

  • The eyelashes can become a little sticky or crusty (often from the residue of the eye drops) after cataract surgery. Clean cotton pads moistened with cooled boiled water (from kettle) can be used to soften and wipe away any discharge on the eyelid margin and eyelashes. Please wipe from inside of the eyelid to the outer corner. Avoid vigorous rubbing.

  • It is important not to get dirty water/ shampoo in the eye for the first week.

    In the first week: Please shower shoulder down and clean face with wet towel. You can wash your hair backwards so as not to allow water from hair to trickle into the eye. Some patients find using waterproof swimming goggles in the shower helpful.

    After the first week there are no restrictions to taking a shower or bath.

  • A protective clear plastic shield will often be applied to cover the operated eye at the end of surgery. You can remove the shield once you reach home and start applying your drops.

    You can use the eye shield when sleeping for the first 2-3 nights. This is to prevent you from accidently rubbing the eye at night-time. Some patients prefer using the shield during the day if they are at a risk of injury to eye from pets/ young children.

  • You may wish to wear sunglasses when you step out of the house in the first week. This helps with the brightness and photosensitivity you may initially experience. It also works to alert other people around you to be careful of your eye. It will also help prevent direct injury to the eye from any young children or pets outside say in a park.

    There is no restriction to using computer or watching television, but if there is excessive glare, you may wish to use sunglasses temporarily indoors as well.

  • If you require correction for the other unoperated eye to help you see better; the lens in the glasses on the side of the operated eye will need to be removed. Your regular optician should be able to help with this. The old spectacle prescription will no longer be suitable in the operated eye.

  • You can book an appointment with your optician for any time after 6 weeks following cataract surgery for an updated spectacle prescription.

    During these 6 weeks you should have reasonably good distance vision without glasses.

    You may wish to purchase a ready-made pair of cheap reading glasses from any supermarket/ chemist/ online shop to help you read till you see your optician. (Most patients require a +1.5D or +2D correction)

    I would also recommend seeing your optician yearly afterwards to ensure your eye health is maintained.

  • You should be able to drive after your post operative follow up visit with us. We will check that your vision has improved and meets the legal driving limits. This appointment date will be confirmed prior to discharge and will be usually within a week of surgery.

    If your other eye has already been operated for cataract surgery or have excellent vision in the other eye; then I am happy for you to start driving 48 hours after surgery; provided you feel safe and can read a number plate 20 meters away. Please always drive with caution.

  • It is imperative that adequate care is taken in the first week to prevent eye infection or dislocation of lens. Gentle activities like walking, watering of indoor plants can be commenced next day after the surgery with the usual common sense regarding eye care. But please avoid any strenuous activity which involves bending down, lifting anything heavy for the first week. Swimming should be avoided for 4 weeks while you are using the steroid eye drops. Flying can be undertaken after the post operative check.

    Eye makeup such as mascara and eyeliner should be avoided for 4 weeks.

  • It would depend on what work entails but general advice is to take it easy and be off work for the first week. Patients who have a more computer-based work can start work after 48 hours after surgery if they wish.

  • We will check your vision, perform an eye check to ensure everything is going as per plan and remove suture if it has been applied. We can then list you for the other eye cataract surgery if required.

  • You will not need cataract surgery in the same eye ever again.

    Some patients (less than 1 in 10) may develop clouding or thickening of the capsule behind the new intraocular lens in the months or years following cataract surgery. If this posterior capsular opacification (PCO) cause clouding of vision (like the visual clouding noted with the cataract), a simple laser treatment (YAG capsulotomy) can be performed which will improve this immediately.

  • If you develop any significant pain in the eye, excessive and worsening redness or discharge or your vision suddenly drops down, please contact the ward nursing team immediately at the hospital you were operated at.

    Thornbury Hospital Mappin ward nursing team: 01142 674637 or 01142674638


    Claremont Hospital Ward nursing team: 01142632176

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