Will I be awake during cataract surgery?

Do you know what the most common reversible cause of blindness is in the world? The answer is cataracts1Mylona, I., Aletras, V., Ziakas, N. and Tsinopoulos, I., 2021. Successful cataract surgery leads to an improvement of depressive symptomatology..

Are you having trouble performing daily tasks because you can’t see as well? Has your doctor told you that you have a cataract?

When you’re first diagnosed with cataracts, you may not need to have surgery. Yet, about 50% of Australians develop significant problems in their seventies22021. [online] Available at: <https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/publications-and-resources/media-releases/new-standard-improve-care-australians-cataract> . This impacts their quality of life and mental health3 Mylona, I., Aletras, V., Ziakas, N. and Tsinopoulos, I., 2021. Successful cataract surgery leads to an improvement of depressive symptomatology..

Does the thought of having cataract surgery cause you to feel anxious? Are you wondering, “Will I be awake during cataract surgery?” Keep reading to learn about the procedure and if you’ll be awake throughout.

Information on cataract surgery types

Today, there are three different cataract surgery approaches. Your doctor will evaluate your unique situation and create a treatment plan with you. The following provides an overview of the types of cataract surgery that you may be best suited to.

Standard cataract surgery

Here, the surgeon makes an incision to reach the cataract. They then perform phacoemulsification. This involves an ultrasound device that creates ultrasonic vibrating sound waves. The sound waves break up the cataract. We then use sterile water and suction to remove all the cataract pieces. Next, we slide a new monofocal intraocular lens into place. This lens is fixed for one distance. Often, individuals will wear glasses after surgery to correct any existing vision problems. However, if you’d prefer not to wear glasses, another method may work better.

Lifestyle cataract surgery

This procedure also involves an incision and phacoemulsification. After this, the doctor then inserts a new intraocular lens. This lens is fixed for mid-range and distance vision. You may need to wear glasses for near tasks.

Laser cataract surgery

This procedure involves laser-assisted cataract removal and phacoemulsification. The surgeon then inserts the new intraocular lens fixed for distance, mid-range and near vision. After laser cataract surgery, you can expect not to wear glasses anymore.

Will I be awake during cataract surgery?

Do you know what the most common question about cataract surgery is? It’s “Will I be awake during cataract surgery?”

Unless your medical condition puts you at risk, we’ll give you sedation, sometimes known as “twilight sleep”.

Doctors use a variety of anaesthetics for cataract surgery. You may take a Valium pill to help you relax and feel drowsy during the procedure. Sometimes we may give you medication in an intravenous catheter put in a vein in your arm. We also use anaesthetic eye drops to numb your eye before the surgery begins. Even though you’re awake, you won’t feel pain. You may notice a little pressure at times.

After the surgery, you may not remember the whole process. You can take over-the-counter medications for discomfort. Always follow your doctor’s post-op instructions.

Are you looking for a vision specialist near you?

Now know the answer to the common concern, “Will I be awake during cataract surgery?” At the OKKO Eye Specialist Centre, our team is sensitive to patient worries. During your first visit, we’ll complete a full assessment and create a personalised treatment plan. Our caring staff will invite you to ask questions to help you feel comfortable.

Book an appointment today to restore your vision.

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About Brisbane’s Eye Specialist

A specialist ophthalmic micro surgeon, internationally trained retinal surgeon, medical retinal diseases specialist and cataract surgeon

Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO

Brisbane Eye Surgeon

With a career that spans over 15 years, I have mastered the ability to achieve results that help patients regain their confidence and youthful energy.

When it comes to restoring the eye’s function, there is a world of choice available that most people miss. It is my responsibility as a specialist ophthalmic surgeon, to help you avoid the agonising anxiety and regret that comes with not knowing all your options.

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