Ivey Eye Institute - London Ontario Canada

| Monday July 16, 2018
3:39 PM

Please note: If you must cancel your surgery, please call the surgeon's office as soon as possible.

This information is for you, your family and friends. The information will help you understand:

  • cataracts
  • what to expect while in the hospital
  • how to care for yourself after surgery

Please read this information before you come for your Preadmission visit. Write down any questions or concerns.

What is a Cataract?

Inside your eye is a natural lens that helps your eye focus on objects. As people age, the lens can become less clear, harder, and even cloudy. This cloudiness in the lens is called a cataract. Surgery is the only way to improve your vision. Your doctor will discuss the surgery to remove your cataract and answer any questions that you may have.

Ivey Eye - Side View of Eyeball

Cataract Surgery

To improve your vision, your surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. This is called an intraocular lens implant (IOL) and it will provide you with the most natural vision possible. Your doctor will discuss with you the various types of lenses available.

The lens implant is permanent. It cannot be felt. The incision in your eye will take 4 weeks to completely heal. During that time your vision will gradually improve.


Read the information about the Preadmission Program for all eye surgery including cataracts.

Day of Surgery: Reminders

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery, unless instructed otherwise
  • Take pills as instructed with a sip of water on morning of surgery. Do not take insulin, unless told to do so. Bring inhalers to hospital
  • Wear short-sleeved button front shirt or blouse. No undershirts, pantyhose or girdles, please.
  • Leave all jewellery (including rings) and valuables at home
  • Do not use scented products (perfume, aftershave, powder, spray). Do not use eye make-up or face make-up
  • Bring your glasses or sunglasses (including case) with you
  • Your driver must remain in the hospital during your stay
  • You must have a responsible adult take you home and stay with you overnight after surgery

Where to go on day of surgery

Before Your Surgery

  • Your family member or friend will be asked to wait in the waiting room before your surgery
  • Blood tests may be done before your surgery (i.e. blood sugar, if diabetic)
  • Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be taken
  • Eye drops or gel will be put into your eye
  • An intravenous (IV) may be started
  • The nurse will review the post-operative instructions with you
  • You will be asked some questions by your nurse to be sure you are ready for your surgery
  • You will be taken to the operating room on a stretcher

After Your Surgery

  • You will return to the Cataract Suite for about 30 minutes
  • Your eye may be covered with a shield. You will be given your glasses to wear
  • If you are diabetic, we will check your blood sugar. Medication will be given, if needed
  • You may be given a prescription for eye drops. Start these eye drops, as instructed
  • You may have a follow-up appointment the same day as your surgery (depends on the surgeon). You must have a responsible adult wait with you from the time you are discharged from the Cataract Suite/SDCU until after the appointment.

At Home

  • You must have a responsible adult stay with you the night of surgery
  • Leave eye shield on or wear glasses to protect the eye
  • There will be some mucous and tears from the eye. The eye may feel irritated or scratchy
  • Spend the rest of the day quietly
  • Take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg, 1-2 tablets every 4 hours for discomfort if needed
  • You may eat as usual
  • Resume your regular medication. Start eye drops if instructed
  • Call your surgeon if you have severe pain
  • You cannot drive or operate mechanical equipment for 24 hours after surgery due to the medication you have been given

Day After Surgery

  • Go to your eye surgeon as arranged
  • Bring glasses or sunglasses with you
  • Bring eye drops, if instructed
  • Your surgeon will tell you when you may start to drive

Discharge Instructions Following Eye Surgery

  • Use prescribed eye drops, as instructed
  • Wear glasses or eye shield at all times to protect eye from injury, at least for 1-2 weeks
  • Wash your eyelid gently with a cotton makeup pad or clean facecloth with luke-warm tap water. Wipe from the inside corner outward. Your surgeon will discuss the use of sterile water if needed
  • Wear eye shield when showering, bathing or hair washing for one week. Let the water hit your back not your face
  • Gradually increase your activity on the advice of your eye surgeon
  • Sit in a chair to put on shoes
  • Sleep on back or unoperated side for 1 week. Place a pillow between your knees to help avoid turning over during sleep


  • Do not rub or bump the operated eye
  • Do not get water in the eye
  • Do not put your head down below your waist for 2-3 days when bending over
  • Do not strain or lift anything heavier than 20 lbs., for the first week, after surgery
  • Do not get constipated (causes straining)
  • Do not swim, golf, or play contact sports until your eye surgeon says you can

How to Put in Eye Drops

Special Instructions From Your Eye Surgeon

Contact your Eye Surgeon if:

  • Your operated eye becomes very painful or swollen
  • There is an increase in mucous discharge
  • There is a decrease in vision in your operated eye

After hours, call 519 646-6100 and ask for the Eye Resident on Call, or come to the Urgent Care Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Tony Lin
Man Mohan Merchea