Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions patients have about cataract surgery. As always, consult with your doctor regarding any questions you have about your vision or cataract surgery.
For specific questions about the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL, please read the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL FAQ.
- Is surgery the only option to treat a cataract?
- Does cataract surgery hurt?
- Will I be asleep during cataract surgery?
- Who performs the procedure, a surgeon or a technician?
- I have cataracts in both eyes. Will the doctor treat both of my eyes at the same time?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long before I can see after surgery?
- How long until I can return to normal activities?
- After surgery, will I be able to drive at night?
- Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
- Can my cataract come back?
- Are there any side effects? Anything I won't like?
- Can the lens be replaced if it doesn't work?
- Any precautions after surgery?
- Who do I call if I have a problem?
Is surgery the only option to treat a cataract?
Just because you have a cataract does not mean that you have to have it removed. Cataract surgery only becomes necessary if you are not happy with your vision and want to see better. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your vision.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
Thanks to numbing drops and medications to help you relax, this procedure involves minimal discomfort.
Will I be asleep during cataract surgery?
Since this procedure does not take very long, it is unnecessary to put you completely asleep with general anesthesia. Instead, your surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb your eye and you will remain awake during the surgery.
Who performs the procedure, a surgeon or a technician?
A surgeon will perform the procedure. There will be a technician and nurse in the room to assist them.
I have cataracts in both eyes. Will the doctor treat both at the same time?
Typically, doctors will perform surgery in the second eye two or three weeks after the first eye. All patients are different, so talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
How long will I be in the Surgery Center?
Patients commonly spend only a few hours at the surgery center, and are allowed to go home the very same day.
How long before I can see after surgery?
Every patient and every eye is different, but patients commonly see well enough to drive the day after surgery. Ask your doctor how quickly he or she expects you to recover.
How long until I can return to normal activities?
Most patients can resume normal basic activities like reading and watching TV by the next day, and return to work within two to seven days. Doctors typically recommend against any strenuous activity for two or more weeks. However, results vary for different patients, so you should ask your doctor what is best for you.
After surgery, will I be able to drive at night?
Your ability to drive at night should be much enhanced once your cataract is removed. Patients with the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL may notice a ring of light around headlights and other point-light sources. These are typically mild, rarely bothersome, and tend to diminish with time.
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
It depends on what type of intraocular lens you elect to have implanted. Most patients do not need glasses or contacts for distance tasks following cataract surgery with a traditional monofocal IOL, but still rely on reading glasses for near tasks. However, in the clinical trials, four out of five AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL patients reported never wearing glasses for distance, intermediate or near tasks after their surgery.
Can my cataract come back?
No, once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time, patients may complain that their vision has once again become cloudy. This sometimes-common condition, which may occur with any type of IOL, is known as a secondary cataract or "PCO." Secondary cataracts can be easily treated by a simple laser procedure performed in the office.
Are there any side effects? Anything I won't like?
There is a chance that you will experience halos or glare in your vision, but this is uncommon and usually goes away in time. Your intermediate (in-between) vision may not be as crisp as you near and distance vision, but four out of five AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL patients in the clinical study reported never needing glasses following cataract surgery in both eyes. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. You and your doctor should consider the potential risks and benefits, and determine if the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL is right for you.
Can the lens be replaced if it doesn't work?
Although this would be unlikely, the IOL can be replaced with a different one if needed. Ask your surgeon how they would handle this situation.
Any precautions after surgery?
Every patient is different, so be sure to ask your doctor for advice on caring for your eye after the procedure. Your doctor may ask you to refrain from rubbing your eye or engaging in any strenuous activity for a few weeks after surgery.
Who do I call if I have a problem?
Consult your doctor immediately if you have any problems, especially if you experience decreased vision or pain.