Oct 14, 2009
Usually after I finish cataract surgery on a patient, the first thing I tell them is "You did great!." I'm often heard saying to patients, "I'm proud of you!" Successful cataract surgery requires not only excellent surgical technique but also a partnership with an interested motivated patient.
Here are some things YOU can do to help make YOUR cataract surgery experience more successful.
1. Make sure your surgeon had addressed any co-existing eye conditions and how they will affect your outcome. Macular degeneration, macular pucker, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and dry eye keratopathy are the main co-existing conditions we see.
2. Make sure you let the surgeon and anesthesiologist know if you have had trouble with surgery or anesthesia before and if you are extremely nervous or have clostrophobia.
3. If you are feeling ill and having trouble with fevers or a cough or shortness of breath please let the surgeon know and be ready to possible delay the surgery.
4. If you have blepharitis or granulated eyelids follow instructions on using baby shampoo or lid cleaning pads like Ocusoft in addition to an antibiotic ointment for the prescribed time before surgery.
5. Make sure you are able to actually put in your eyedrops properly and follow the drop schedule exactly. If you can't do it yourself you will need to have someone do it for you. This is one of the main areas where I run into trouble is when patients forget to use the drops or think that they are doing so well that they don't need to use them.
6. After surgery report any problems right away to the surgeon's office. All ophthalmologists will have a 24 hour call service that will relay your call to the doctor on call that day. Don't be shy or afraid or embarrased to call your doctor. He or she needs to know right away if you're having a problem.
7. Keep aware of your medical allergies and make sure that none of the drops or medications you are given are not on your allergy list. I know that is mainly the job of the doctors and nurses but mistakes can still happen and if you're paying attention you could help to prevent a problem.
8. Stay clean, wear clean clothes, take a good shower the night before and wash well especially around your face. Wash your hands a lot and try to keep them away from your eyes if possible. These are just common sense things to help reduce the risk of infection.
Good Luck, and God Bless.