Cataract Surgery: Before, During and After

Dear Respected Patient,

Please read this handout on the day you receive it and prior to the surgery.

Please obtain all your eye drops and artificial tears before the day of surgery (this will be provided for you closer to the surgery date). People who are prepared for surgery and who take part in their care enjoy a better experience and can recover in less time with fewer or no problems. The information in this handout will help to get you, your family and your home ready for surgery.

Thank you for allowing us to help with your care. We wish you a pleasant surgical experience and a quick recovery.


Team Seema Eye Care

Preoperative Instructions

  1. Please stop all contact lens wear before surgery.
    1. Hard contact lenses must be stopped 4 weeks before
    2. Monthly/Bi-weekly Soft contact lenses 2 weeks before and
    3. Daily soft contact lenses 1 week before the procedure
  2. Before the day of surgery, please arrange to have a responsible person to
    1. Bring you to and from the Holy Cross Surgical Services or hospital (by car or taxi). You will NOT be allowed to drive yourself home or take a bus
    2. Help you after surgery with daily activities and post-operative eye drops.
  3. Medications: Dr. Al-Ghoul has recommended the use of Vigamox and non-preservative artificial tears before surgery.
    1. Please start the non-preservative artificial tears 4 x per day, 14 days before your surgery.
    2. Please start the Vigamox 4 x per day, 3 days before your surgery.
    3. Please use a lid wipe once per night for 3 nights prior to surgery to cleanse the eyelid and lash area. You may use 1 wipe for both eyes as they are quite big. (you can get these over the counter at the pharmacy).
    1. No solid food, drink, and no smoking after midnight the night before your surgery. If this rule is not strictly followed, your surgery will be canceled.
    2. No alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before surgery.
  5. Please take all your regular medications (except for insulin) with small sips of water only the morning of your surgery. I you have special instructions from your family physician please let us know.
  6. If you are on Insulin:
    1. DO NOT TAKE INSULIN (please bring it with you to take after surgery).
      1. When your surgery is booked please remind us that you are on insulin so we can appropriately arrange your arrival time.
  7. If you are currently using eye drops, please ask your surgeon for specific directions about stopping or continuing these after the surgery.
  8. Please have acetaminophen (Tylenol®) at home to use if you have discomfort after surgery.
  9. A post-operative kit is available for purchase at Seema Eye Care Centre which includes protective sunglasses, eye shields, skin tape and a bag for your prescriptions. You may need to purchase additional skin tape.

Preoperative Drops

When using two or more eye drops, always wait 5 minutes after instilling the first eye drop before
instilling the next one. Only one drop from each bottle is required each time. Use the chart below to track
drops by filling in a circle every time you use an eye drop

Day of Surgery

What to Bring and Wear

  1. Please bring your Alberta Health Care Card and a form of photo ID.
  2. Please bring payment if you have opted for an uninsured premium lens.
  3. Premium Lens payment is received at Seema Eye Care Centre by cash, Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Bank Draft or Certified Cheque. Personal cheques are NOT accepted. Make payment to Ahmed Al-Ghoul Professional Corporation.
  4. Please bring a translator if you do not understand English.
  5. Please wear comfortable clothing (e.g. loose pants and top with short or loose sleeves, and low-heeled, non-slip shoes).
  6. Please DO NOT WEAR loose jewelry, make-up or false eyelashes. Face cream is okay. Acrylic nails and nail polish are okay, but avoid dark colored, metallic polish.
  7. Bring your surgical kit (if purchased), and all your prescribed eye drops on the day of the surgery.
  8. Bring sunglasses to wear home in case your eyes are sensitive to light

What to Expect

  1. The surgery takes about 20-30 minutes but expect to be at the Holy Cross Surgical Services for 2 to 4 hours. Sometimes the surgery may be a bit later than planned and at other times earlier.
  2. Check-in at the Holy Cross Surgical Services A nurse will ask questions, lie you down, put eye drops in your eye and you will meet the Anesthesiologist. If you are nervous, you will be offered medication to help you relax.
  3. If you selected a Toric or Multifocal lens, you will be seated at a slit lamp. Your eye surgeon will make specific marks on your eye’s surface before surgery to ensure exact and accurate positioning.
  4. If you are able, you will walk with a nurse into/out of the operating room.
  5. In the operating room, you will be laid down on a bed, monitors are placed, your eye will be cleaned, and your face will be covered with a sterile drape.
  6. The eyelid (of the operated eye) is kept open with a small, comfortable clip. Please keep both eyes open (under the drape), blink and look towards the two microscope lights. The lights may move or fade in/out during surgery.
  7. During surgery, you may experience mild pressure or pull, fluid bathing your eye and face, see unusual shapes, movements and/or very brilliant colors.

Immediately After Cataract Surgery

  1. After surgery, a shield is placed over your eye and held with tape. You will be moved to the recovery area where the nurses will check on you.
  2. Before you go home, your nurse will review discharge instructions and ensure you have filled your prescription for eye drop medications.
  3. You are discharged when you are alert and stable.
  4. Your vision will be blurry and begin to improve the following morning. Redness ofthe white part of the eye is also normal.
  5. You may eat and drink normally. Resume taking all your regular medications and the ones prescribed for the operated eye. o for discomfort, please use Tylenol® as directed.

You will receive a prescription for three (3) medicated eye drops and will use non preservative artificial tears as outlined in the drop schedule below.

  • Hylo and i-drop non-preservative artificial tears are available at Seema Eye Care.

  • When using two or more eye medications, always wait 5 minutes after instilling the first eye medication before instilling the next one.
    1. Only one drop from each bottle is required each time 2. Please start drops 2-3 hours after the surgery and follow this medication schedule:

Use the chart below to track drops by filling in a circle every time you use an eye drop

Use the chart below to track drops by filling in a circle every time you use an eye drop