How to Prepare for Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is a common procedure that prevents your eyes from clouding and protects your vision. If you're scheduled to have an operation, understanding how to prepare for it can make your recovery easier.
Ask About Your Anaesthetic
Cataract surgery can take place under either a local or general anaesthetic. The type you have will determine what you can do about food and drink in the 12 hours before the procedure. If you're having a local anaesthetic, you can eat and drink as normal. As for general anaesthetics, most anaesthetists request that you don't eat or drink for between six and eight hours before your anaesthetic is due. As a result, you may want to have a late night meal the day before your surgery.
Adjust Your Usual Medications
Your surgeon may request that you stop taking certain medications in the days before your surgery. For example, if you take warfarin or another blood thinner that could impact the operation, they may request that you stop taking it and ask you to go for an INR level check.
If you take any medications that interact with your usual levels of comfort, ask your surgeon for advice. For example, they may suggest taking diuretics or beta-blockers after the surgery, although this will vary from case to case.
Arrange for a Lift Home
Even if you have a local anaesthetic, your surgeon may administer a sedative that leaves you unsafe to drive for a few hours after. As such, you should arrange for transport home regardless of the anaesthetic you're choosing.
In addition to this, arrange for time off work as appropriate. Although you may be able to return within 48 hours, you might find that your occupational health department wants you to delay your return for longer.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Although your surgical team will probably provide you with a gown, some cataract surgeries take place in day case settings. As a result, you might spend a little while waiting before it's your turn. To make sure your wait is as comfortable as possible, wear comfortable clothing and take a book along to keep yourself entertained.
Finally, always make sure you read your post-operation leaflet. Your surgeon may have specific advice on what you can and cannot do, and it's always useful to prepare yourself in advance rather than wait until the surgery has happened. By engaging in a little preparation, you can make sure your surgery runs smoothly.