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Post-operative instructions:
Cataract surgery

At the end of your operation, the eye will be covered with a clear plastic shield. This protects the eye from physical harm. You should wear the shield until the morning after surgery.

You will be able to see through the shield straight away but the vision will be blurred. It will be blurred by the plastic but it will also be blurred because your pupil will be dilated. The eye may take a day or two to settle.

Immediately after surgery you may eat and walk around the ward if you wish. You may go home as soon as the nurses have given you your eye drops which you will need to take for three weeks. Do not drive home from the hospital. Take things easy until the morning after surgery.

The morning after surgery, take off the plastic shield and keep it. You may find that the vision is still slightly blurred. Your pupil may be still dilated. This is all quite normal.

You may find that you have some mucous discharge around the eye and the eye may be slightly red. Wipe away any mucus with sterile cotton dipped in sterile water taking care not to touch the eyeball itself.

Start using your eye drops as soon as you can on the morning after surgery. You are likely to have been given two types of eye drop.Use both drops, leaving a minute or two between each drop. It is likely that you will be asked to use the drops four times a day for three weeks. This can vary and this will be discussed with you.

Use the plastic eye shield every night for the first week to protect the eye whilst you are asleep.

Dos and don'ts

  • Do exercise gently if you wish
  • Do bend down if you need to
  • Don't strain for the first week. This includes heavy lifting and manual work
  • Don't exercise strenuously
  • Don't swim for two weeks after the operation

It is common to have some discomfort of the eye over the first few days. The eye may be slightly red. This will improve gradually over the first week or so. If the redness or discomfort worsens before your first post-operative clinic visit, you should be seen without delay in case an infection or inflammation is developing.


You will be legally allowed to drive as soon as you fulfill the legal requirement for driving i.e. If you are able to read a number plate at 20.5 metres with both eyes open, with or without glasses. However it is very important to remember that in spite of your legal entitlement to drive, you may feel unhappy to drive or feel strange driving so soon after your operation. The decision about when to drive is otherwise up to you. If you have had a general anaesthetic, your anaesthetist will advise you of when you should resume driving from the anaesthetic point of view. If you wish to be told whether you fulfill the visual legal requirements, please phone my secretary to arrange an appointment for a vision check.

Visiting the optician

Do not visit the optician until you have had your post-operative check at about three weeks after the operation.

Before you had your cataract surgery, your visual requirements will have been discussed with you. Most people wish to have good vision in the distance without glasses and to use glasses for reading. It is possible that you will need small spectacle correction after your surgery for distance or reading or both. You will be advised of this at your clinic visit after surgery.

Before you see the optician, you may use any spectacles that you feel are useful. You will not harm the eyes by using the 'wrong' glasses. You may use an old pair or you may wish to purchase a temporary pair of reading glasses from a chemist or department store if you are keen to read soon after your surgery.


It is safe to play golf a week after your surgery.

It is safe to play tennis two weeks after surgery.

Swimming should be avoided for two weeks after surgery.

If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact me through my secretary.


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