Cataract Surgery Recovery

Once you have cataract surgery how long will it take to recover? Each person heals differently, but some people have clear vision within a few hours of cataract surgery. It may take as long as a two weeks after surgery to see everything in sharpest focus. Common symptoms after surgery include scratchy or dry eyes and temporary blurry vision, but you should experience complete healing of the eye within a month. Learn more about how Dr. Lipstock helps patients recover quickly.

What to expect after cataract surgery:

  • Few restrictions (no rubbing of the eye and keep contaminants away)
  • Mild foreign body sensation mostly gone by the next morning
  • Some blurriness that gradually improves over the first week

Anesthesia Methods

Prior to cataract surgery, the eye is numbed to reduce discomfort during the procedure. This can be done with numbing eye drops (Topical Anesthesia) or via needle injections (Block Anesthesia) in the region around the eye (eyelids and eye muscles), requiring deep IV sedation.

Dr. Lipstock has performed extensive research into these two methods and has found topical anesthesia to be his preferred method for the vast majority of his cataract surgery patients. He is still one of the only surgeons in Richmond who regularly performs cataract surgery with topical anesthesia.

The following video segment explains the benefits of Topical Anesthesia versus Block Anesthesia during cataract surgery.

Topical Anesthesia offers key benefits such as:

  • No patch required after surgery
  • Less sedation, so faster recovery time
  • Less swollen, red, and black and blue eye
  • No fear of pain from a block injection
  • Decreased risk from needle injection and deep IV sedation
  • Eyelid and eye muscles are not temporarily paralyzed as with Block Anesthesia

In a 2012 survey by the ASCRS, 11% of cataract surgeons were using topical anesthesia. In 2000, 50%, and in 2012 75%. Still today in Richmond, VA, less than 25% of cataract surgery is performed with topical anesthesia.

If you have cataracts and are considering cataract surgery, make sure you know the facts about Topical Anesthesia and Block Anesthesia before you undergo the procedure. Schedule an exam with Dr. Lipstock today to learn more.