Cataract Surgery Information

Cataract surgery involves intricate microsurgery. It is performed in a Hospital as a day surgery. You will be contacted by phone a few days prior to the surgery to confirm your admission & fasting times.


The surgery is performed under local anaesthetic and sedation is given only if necessary. For procedures using sedation, we would like you to fast from solid food for 6 hours and clear fluid up to 2 hours before the procedure. For morning procedures, that means, you should have no breakfast including tea or coffee; but have all your usual morning medication with a small sip of clear water. For afternoon procedures, please fast from 8am (unless otherwise advised). The anaesthetist will also ensure that you are relaxed before the surgery. If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes; your doctor will give you specific instructions. As a rule, you may continue all regular medications including anticoagulants such as Warfarin and Aspirin.


You will likely be at the hospital for approximately 2-4 hours. After the nurses check you in and put some eye drops in the eye to dilate the pupil, the anaesthetist will make you quite comfortable and ensure your eyes are numb from the anaesthetic.

The actual cataract surgery takes approximately 20 minutes, and we ask you to lie down nice and still on a comfortable bed for the duration. During the surgery, the cataract, which is the cloudy lens inside the eye is removed and a clear intraocular lens (IOL) that is measured specifically for you will be placed in the eye.

The new IOL is important to help you focus and is made of a safe material. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your eye doctor. This new lens is held in place by the natural lens capsule/membrane and remains in your eye permanently. Once in place, the lens is not likely to move or require replacement. It cannot be felt once inside the eye.

After the operation, you will be taken to recovery for about 1 hour. You will also be offered something to eat and drink. You will likely be at the hospital for approximately half a day. It is important to remember that you will not be able to drive as the operated eye will be covered by an eye patch until the next morning; so you will be required to have someone accompany you home. Please leave the eye patch and a protective shield on overnight. Your surgeon will see you the next day to remove these.


Your eye doctor will arrange to see you the next day (or the same evening) after the operation to remove the eye patch and start the eye drops. The post-operative care involves the use of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. You will need to follow the recommended use for these drops. If you have had previous allergic reaction to eye drops, please let your surgeon know. A post-operative information sheet and the eye drops will be given to you.  In the information sheet we will have made a time to see you on the first day after surgery and usually again 1 month after the surgery.