Did you know that surgery to remove cataracts is the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S.? About 3 million men and women undergo the procedure every year. Our Frankfort, KY West vision center eye doctors, along with our specialists in Jeffersonville, IN, perform cataract surgery for patients.
Even though cataract surgery is very common, many patients arrive for their initial cataract consultations with a number of questions about the procedure, especially regarding recovery. In this blog post, I’ll answer some of the most common questions our doctors hear at our eye clinics.
What Are Cataracts?
Half of all Americans develop cataracts by the time they’re 80-years-old. Cataracts develop gradually and are a natural part of the aging process. A cataract clouds the lens of the eye, causing vision problems. Laser surgery removes the cataract, and an eye doctor replaces the lens.
Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery?
Even though Medicare typically doesn’t cover vision care, cataract surgery is an exception. Medicare covers the cost of laser cataract surgery and monofocal replacement lens implants. Premium lens implants that some patients prefer are not included in the coverage.
How Long Does Cataract Surgery Take?
Even though the laser cataract surgery itself takes only about 10 to 15 minutes per eye, patients should plan to spend about 2 hours at the vision center where they have the procedure performed.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Cataract Surgery?
Patients often worry more about the recovery after cataract surgery than the procedure itself. It’s normal to experience some blurry vision in the days following the surgery, and we schedule follow-up appointments within a couple of days to ensure there are no complications. The time it takes to fully heal from the procedure is typically 1 to 3 months, but most patients resume their usual activities within a week of the surgery.
Is Cataract Surgery Painful?
Cataract surgery is not painful. Eye drops numb the eye before the surgery. Patients may get a mild sedative before the procedure to reduce anxiousness about the procedure.
Can You Drive After Cataract Surgery?
Patients need to have someone available to drive them home after the surgery. Some patients are able to drive 24 hours after the surgery, but you should plan on having someone drive you to your follow-up appointment.
Can You Wear Contacts After Cataract Surgery?
Some patients will continue to need vision correction, such as contacts or glasses, after cataract surgery. It’s fine to wear contacts once the eye or eyes have fully healed after cataract surgery.
Is It OK to Fly After Cataract Surgery?
Flying after cataract surgery is generally considered safe. Still, you should schedule the procedure at least a week before planning to travel so you can return for follow-up appointments and ensure there are no complications.
If you are considering cataract surgery and you’re looking for an eye doctor in Frankfort, KY, or elsewhere in the Kentuckiana region, you can contact us using the online form or by calling our main office at (812) 284-0660.