cataract surgery – step by step

Preparing for Surgery

Your initial appointment with Adelson Eye & Laser Center will include a comprehensive eye exam and all testing required. Our staff will walk you through the procedure and ensure all questions and concerns are answered. You will decide on which lens (IOL) is right for you. We will only operate on one eye at a time. Before surgery, you will begin prescription eye drops.


The Procedure

On the day of your surgery, you will arrive at the Surgery Center or hospital about an hour prior to your surgery time. Our staff will prepare you for IV sedation. We make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed before we move into the operating room. You will then be taken into the surgery suite where both dilating and anesthetic drops will be administered to minimize any discomfort during the operation.

During surgery, you lie on your back and look at a bright light. Most of our patients do not feel discomfort or even remember any details during the surgery itself. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that will only take about 15 minutes. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea. Dr. Adelson inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. After the natural lens has been removed, it often is replaced by an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL is a clear lens that becomes a permanent part of your eye. The incision does not need stitches and remains tightly sealed due to the eye’s natural pressure. You will not feel or see the new lens.



Recovery from the procedure is usually very fast, with most patients resuming normal activities within 24 hours. After surgery, Dr. Adelson will discuss:

  • Any medications he or she may prescribe you including post operative drops to avoid inflammation or infection
  • Instructions for how to care for your eye
  • That an eye patch will need to worn at night for a week
  • Post operative appointments

Reading, walking, watching TV or other light activities are okay as soon as you get home, but you should avoid strenuous activity, like heavy lifting, for at least a week.

Most patients experience vision that is actually better than before they developed cataracts. Individuals who choose cataract surgery and want to see without the need for glasses should discuss premium lens options with Dr. Adelson.