Cataract surgery: How much time between procedures?
July 14, 2021 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I have severe cataracts in both eyes (along with other visual issues) and have opted for laser surgery. To my surprise, I was offered the possibility of having the surgery on two consecutive days. (This is at the very reputable Herzig Eye Institute in Toronto, by the way.)

I know that usually the cataracts are removed days, even weeks apart. My first thought was that I would like to get it over with--the eye drops, the extra precautions, etc. But I am wondering if that is the best way to go. All of you who have had cataracts removed from both eyes--did you have it done on consecutive days? Would you recommend a longer wait in between surgeries for any reason? What would be the ideal time between appointments? Thanks
posted by uans to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Best answer: I would ask how long you have to wear the plastic eye shield after surgery. It could be a real pain to have to use one for both eyes at the same time. I don’t remember how long I had to wear them though.

I think my surgeries were two weeks apart.
posted by FencingGal at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2021

Response by poster: I have to wear the plastic shield for five days.
posted by uans at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2021

Friend’s father just had his done. Two weeks apart. This was at a hospital in Ontario. Not sure if it was laser or something else, though. 7 days wearing the shield at night and eye drops for two weeks after each eye.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:19 PM on July 14, 2021

Best answer: My father also just had his done two weeks apart. Based on helping him get to his appointments/follow-ups and his description of how he felt and functioned immediately after the procedures, I would say that consecutive days is doable if you have someone living with you whom you can trust to help out as needed, including for transportation. My dad was definitely not able to drive the next day and I think using public transport on his own would have been unsafe. He had significant drowsiness and disorientation from the anesthetic the second time, after not having much issues with the first. But because he had one functional eye each time, he was able to do everything else for himself, something that consecutive surgeries might make difficult.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:08 PM on July 14, 2021

Same here. My father had his two weeks apart.
posted by kschang at 5:28 PM on July 14, 2021

I had both of my cataracts removed just before covid hit. They were done four weeks apart, although other folks I know had theirs done two weeks apart. I wore the eye patch for one day, and IIRC the plastic eye shield for about a week. It was a little complicated doing the post-surgical eye drops on one eye while I did the pre-surgical eye drops on the other eye but my doctor's office made it really easy to follow. I have never heard of cataract surgeries being done on consecutive days.
posted by DrGail at 7:31 PM on July 14, 2021

Also pro tip: Take a picture of yourself with the plastic shield so that when you have to take it off for showering or whatever, you can put it back on correctly.
posted by FencingGal at 7:37 AM on July 15, 2021

Just to clarify: I only had to wear the plastic eye shield while sleeping.
posted by DrGail at 8:26 AM on July 15, 2021

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