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Cataract Surgery: What to Expect Before, During, and Afterward

Are you over 50? If so, your next 30 years hold the most risk for developing cataracts. In fact, by the time you turn 80, you have more than a 50% chance of having a cataract or you may have already have undergone cataract surgery. 

If your vision has become cloudy or blurred, you’re experiencing greater sensitivity to light than normal, you can’t distinguish colors as readily as you once could, or you have problems reading or watching television, you may have cataracts. 

Cataracts cloud the lens inside your eye, so glasses don't help you see more clearly. Instead, you need cataract surgery to replace the lens with a new, clear one. 

As an experienced ophthalmologist, Dr. Stephen Khachikian provides leading-edge technology to his patients in Rapid City, South Dakota. This includes cataract surgery designed to uncloud your vision and restore clarity to your sight. 

Preparing for cataract surgery

One of the best things about the latest technology is that we can select a special intraocular lens (IOL) that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism at the same time that we resolve your cataracts. You may not even need glasses after surgery.

Before surgery, Dr. Khachikian carefully examines your eyes, reviews your current health and medical history, and evaluates both the location and size of your cataracts. Our team measures your eye to for your new IOL, provides antibiotic eye drops to prepare your eyes for the procedure, and can advise you to stop taking certain medications before surgery, if needed.  

What happens during cataract surgery

Numbing eye drops and a local anesthetic ensure you don’t feel anything during your cataract surgery. Dr. Khachikian can also provide a light sedative if you’re nervous to help you relax without putting you to sleep.

The surgery itself only takes about 15-20 minutes. Dr. Khachikian makes a tiny incision using a laser, carefully removes the old, clouded lens, and inserts the new IOL in its place. 

Following your cataract surgery

Once your new lens is in, and Dr. Khachikian is satisfied with its placement, you need someone to drive you home so you can rest the remainder of the day. You should be able to go back to your normal routine the following day, although it can take about a month to fully recover from cataract surgery.

You notice a significant improvement in your vision immediately, however. Outlines are sharper, colors are brighter and more distinct, and everything is much more clear without the cloudiness of cataracts interfering. 

If you think you have cataracts or have received a recent diagnosis, call our office at 605-203-4256 to schedule a consultation or request an appointment using our convenient online scheduler.

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