Cataract Surgery

The best way to treat cataracts is with surgery that removes the old, cloudy lens and replaces it with a new artificial one to restore your vision and quality of life.

Before Surgery

To determine if your catarct should be removed, Dr. Carlson will perfom a thorough eye examination. Before surgery your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye. Ask Dr. Carlson if you should continue taking your usual medications before surgery. You will need to make arrangements to have someone drive you home after surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Surgery is done on an outpatient basis here at our ambulatory surgery center. You will be here approximately two hours, however, the actual procedure usually only takes 15-30 minutes. You may be asked to skip breakfast depending on the time of your surgery.

When you arrive for surgery you will be given eye drops and a mild sedative to help make you comfortable. A local anesthetic will numb your eye. THe skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed and a sterile covering will be placed around your head. You may see light and movement during the surgery.

During the procedure, Dr. Carlson makes a tiny incision in the eye. Through this incision, he will insert an instrument, about the size of a pen tip. Utilizing ultrasound, the cloudy lens is broken up into pieces and then they are suctioned from the eye. Once the cataract is removed, the artificial replacement lens (IOL) is placed into position to replace the natural lens.

Eye drops are prescribed to guard against infection and to help heal the eye. Typically, no stitches are required and eye patches are only worn when napping and at night. Patients return home the same day.

Following Surgery

  • Use the eye drops as prescribed
  • Be careful not to rub or press on your eye
  • Rest the day of surgery, then resume normal activity
  • Resume normal diet

In Case of Emergency

If you notice a decrease in vision, an increase in pain or redness, headache, nausea/vomiting, please call Minnesota Eye Institute at 320-759-2020. After business hours call or go to nearest hospital.