How you prepare

To prepare for your cataract surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Undergo tests. A week or so before your surgery, your doctor performs a painless ultrasound test to measure the size and shape of your eye. This helps determine the right type of lens implant (intraocular lens, or IOL).
  • Stop taking certain medications. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily stop taking any medication that could increase your risk of bleeding during the procedure. Let your doctor know if you take any medications for prostate problems, as some of these drugs can interfere with cataract surgery.
  • Use eyedrops to reduce infection risk. Antibiotic eyedrops may be prescribed for use one or two days before the surgery.
  • Fast before surgery. You may be instructed not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before the procedure.
  • Prepare for your recovery. Normally you can go home on the same day as your surgery, but you won't be able to drive, so arrange for a ride home. Also arrange for help around home, if necessary, because your doctor may limit activities, such as bending and lifting, for about a week after your surgery.
Sept. 28, 2016
  1. Cataract surgery. American Optometric Association. Accessed May 22, 2016.
  2. Jacobs DS. Cataract in adults. Accessed May 19, 2016.
  3. Facts about cataract. National Eye Institute. Accessed May 22, 2016.
  4. Cataract surgery. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Accessed May 22, 2016.
  5. Cataract in the adult eye PPP. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Accessed May 23, 2016.
  6. Shorstein NH, et al. Comparative effectiveness of three prophylactic strategies to prevent clinical macular edema after phacoemulsification surgery. Ophthalmology. 2015;122:2450.