What can you expect..
The day of surgery you are disallowed food and drink 2 hours prior to surgery.
The surgery takes approx 15 minutes per eye. Just prior to surgery you will receive 15 drops in each eye spread over 20 minutes. You will probably be offered an Ativan to reduce anxiety. At the beginning of surgery a numbing paste is applied to your eye along with a disinfectant. Your cataract lens is then broken up and sucked out and following small incisions the new lens in put in place. You are wide-awake and your eye is held open. All you can see is a bright light. Repeat for second eye. I was given a rubber ball for each hand to squeeze if stressed. I am sure I flattened mine.
You might be told there will be no pain. I felt pain when (presumably) the incisions were made. It was brief and not at all intolerable. You will leave the clinic wearing sunglasses and for first sleep you will wear eye shields. Avoid straining and do not pick up anything over 10 pounds. Just be sensible.
Depending on your lens you will see in distance clearly almost immediately. It is a holy sh** moment. You will probably still need off the shelf readers for up close viewing. I use 2.5 X at a cost of 5 pair for $23 from amazon. You will see your surgeon 24 hours after surgery to make sure all is well. You will take an antibiotic eye drop 4 times a day, a NSAID drop 4 times a day and a corticosteroid drop once a day. These reduce over a 3 week period.
Now the real purpose of this. What to expect post op.
My surgery was at 1 pm. Following surgery I could see well for distant sight. Despite readers I could not read nor see my iPad. My night vision was poor and vision was blurry. I was feeling moderate stress.
Day 1 post op. One eye was still dilated so I could not see much and I still could not read. At my 24 hour check up doc told me he used extra dilation fluid in one eye so thatP was why it was still dilated. By mid day I was able to read with readers but it was a struggle.
Day 2 and distant vision is remarkable and I can read fine with readers. I am comfortable driving. The sun is very bright and I need sun glasses. Recommendation – buy premium sun glasses. I consider Serengeti to be the best and that it what I will have. Don’t go cheap.
Day 3 and I am delighted. Everything is clear, colours are vibrant. One eye is perfect and the other almost. Vision in second eye is not quite as good as the other. One eye is a little puffy on bottom which I will obsess over. It is my nature.
Day 4. My vision is still good but left eye still a little puffy and vision in that eye is not perfect. I called the doc and he advised he is not concerned as long as no pain, no redness of lid or change in vision. If any change I am to see my local optometrist for a check.
Day 5. No change.
Day 6. Puffy eye is less. Vision is pretty much the same.
It is probably useful to mention that it is normal see a slight shimmering in peripheral vision. As well a halo around lights or a laser like beam of light off lights is considered normal and will diminish over time. I had all and was prepared so I was not concerned. I still have all but it is diminishing.
Day 7. No change other than the effects around lights is diminishing. Still a pesky shimmering occasionally when I move from dark to light rooms. I did not have a crescent shape flash in side of eye but that too would have been considered normal.
You are provided with artificial tears to use if your eyes feel irritated. I only used occasionally up to now but have discovered that more frequent use feels better. I will now use if I feel any irritation.
Day 8. My right eye is still perfect but I am struggling a little with left. It just did not feel right. Dr Google assures me all is normal but I invested $75 with my optometrist who confirms doc google is correct. Both eyes appear perfect and it just takes time for both eyes to adjust to lens implant. Before surgery and with glasses I had 20/40 vision in both eyes. Yesterday I had 20/20 in right eye and 20/40 in left without any correction and this will only improve. I discontinue the antibiotic today and continue with the steroid drops for another 2 weeks. Starting tomorrow will be one steroid once a day and another 4 times a day.
My new Serengeti sun glasses arrived from Amazon. I wore Serengeti 30 years ago when I could wear contact lens and felt they were the best of the best. 30 years later and they appear to be unchanged and remain my all time favourite for driving and general use. I prefer the drivers lens but Serengeti offers many shades. I am trying to convince myself that I am now a cool dude. …fail
Days 9,10. No real change other than a slight improvement in left eye each day. Antibiotic has been discontinued and steroid drops continue. I find outside vision is crystal clear. Inside in dim light is ok but less than outside. All is good.
This will be my last update. All is good. I do not need glasses for distant vision and will use readers for close up. I don’t really think much about my eyes except for continuing drops for another week. I will have a follow up visit with doc in 10 days and expect to be told I am done. If there is any negative I find my eyes are ‘tired’ by the end of the day. I know this is my brain getting used to working in a different way. It will pass and I expect I will be experimenting with different power in readers.
At this point I am entirely satisfied with the outcome. If you need surgical attention for your eyes The Halifax Vision Surgical Centre and Doctor Dan Belliveau has my vote of confidence. The surgical administrator, OR nurses and doctor met my expectation. Doctor Belliveau is not a warm touchy-feely type doc. He is reasonably friendly and very professional. I had no desire to share a beer with this doctor and all I wanted was a professional competent surgeon who could fix my eyes. As Dr. Belliveau has done 22,000 of these surgeries (and counting) I think I picked the right doctor.