Cataract Surgery recovery corridor with chairs

Cataract Surgery Recovery

When making the decision to go ahead with cataract surgery, it is important to know about the recovery and aftercare process, and how it will affect you. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve provided all the details you’ll need to take care of your eyes once you’ve had the operation.


What Is The Cataract Surgery Recovery Process?

Cataract surgery is a same-day procedure that usually takes around eight to 10 minutes per eye. After the post-op check and a rest in the recovery room, you can be discharged within two to three hours to start your recovery at home. It is normal for your vision to be blurry immediately after the surgery; it is therefore essential that you have transport arranged to and from the hospital, and it’s also recommended to have a family member or friend attend with you.

Hourglass with red sand

What Is The Typical Cataract Surgery Recovery Time?

After the first few hours of the procedure, your vision will continue to improve and will become much better over the next few weeks. You can do most everyday activities after surgery as there is minimal down time, however it’s best to avoid strenuous activities. Our surgeons will guide you carefully about the activities you should avoid.

Optegra specialist consultants

Cataract Surgery Aftercare Advice

After the surgery, you may need to wear a transparent protective shield, and this can normally be removed the following day but should be worn at night for seven nights to protect your eyes whilst you sleep. Remember to wash your hands before and after you remove the protective shield.

You’ll also be provided with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eyedrops to use for the first few weeks after the surgery to help with healing and they are to be used as directed.

You can typically drive within 48 hours after the surgery, but your surgeon will tell you when it is safe for you to drive. You cannot drive until your eyesight meets the legal driving requirements.

Whilst you can use screens and read, it is still important to limit activity to help with your recovery. When going outdoors, use sunglasses to shield your eyes.

Most patients will experience a change in prescription following cataract surgery. If you are having one eye treated, you should wait for a final post-operative check on that eye (usually four weeks post-operation) before getting your new glasses. If having both eyes done, you should wait until the post-op check of the second eye.

Cataract Surgery Recovery Tips

  • Be sure to use your eye drops as directed by your surgeon – only apply these with clean washed hands.
  • Slight discomfort or a feeling of grittiness is common after cataract surgery- take painkillers to ease any discomfort – again, it’s important that you follow your surgeon’s advice.
  • Avoid getting water in your eye during recovery – after the first 24 hours it is okay to take showers and baths after surgery, however you must keep your eyes closed, avoid getting any soap in your eye and rubbing your eye. Your surgeon will guide you about when you can resume swimming again.
  • Do not drive until you’ve had approval from your surgeon.

Do not rub your eye!

Cataract surgery recovery tips
By Optegra

By Author: Amir Hamid

Mr. Amir Hamid is our Medical Director for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.