Eye Surgery FAQs
1. How much time will I need off work? +
For cataract surgery you may go back to work after 3 days. If your occupation involves very dirty environments or heavy lifting plan 7-10 days off. For pterygium or laser refractive surgery plan to take 1 week off work. For corneal graft surgery you will need up to 1 month off.
2. Will I need to stay in Hospital after the surgery? +
All of Dr Gunn’s surgery is performed as day surgery meaning once you have recovered from the anaesthetic you will be able to be discharged on the same day. You will need someone to be available to take you home from the hospital.
3. Can I be asleep for the operation? +
Dr Gunn and his anaesthetic team will give you different options for surgery. The choice most patients make for cataract surgery is heavy sedation. This is where you will feel like you are going to sleep before the surgery and wake up afterwards without any pain. Most patients have no awareness during the operation and no memory of it afterwards and avoid the risks of a general anaesthetic.
4. Is eye surgery painful? +
It often comes as a surprise to patients that they have little to no pain after eye surgery. During the operation you should not experience any pain whatsoever. Often that first evening the eye may feel a little scratchy but this has usually settled by the time you see Dr Gunn the next day.
5. Will I need eye drops? +
Most eye operations will require eye drops following surgery and they are very important to ensure you have a good outcome. These will be dispensed to you in a pack after surgery. If there are 2 or more types of eye drops going in at the same time you should leave 5 minutes between the different drops. The order you put your drops in does not matter. The drops may sting a little when they go in, this is normal. If you take other drops such as glaucoma drops,these should be put in as normal.
6. What information will I receive? +
On the day of surgery you will be given your eye drops and a detailed postop information pack. This will have details about the expected course after surgery, a drop tick off sheet and emergency contact information in case you have any concerns.
7. Do I need to wear my eyepatch? +
You will be wearing an eyepatch when you head home after surgery. This only needs to be worn at night for the first 3 days after cataract surgery. If you are having a corneal graft operation, please wear the patch (or your glasses) for the first week full time to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eye.
8. When should I see my optometrist to update my glasses? +
We would recommend 6 weeks for your prescription to stabilise before having new glasses made for distance or reading.
9. What can I do after surgery? +
- You can gently exercise and return to normal activity after 72 hours as long as your eye stays clean.
- You can shower and wash your hair but keep your eye closed when you put your head under the shower for 4 weeks. Try not to get soap or hair products into your eyes.
- You can go outside without sunglasses, though you may notice some glare initially.
- Sunglasses may help you to feel more comfortable for a few days. Your eye may have become used to duller vision with the cataract and you may find bright lights startling for a few weeks now that you have a perfectly clear artificial lens in your eye.
- The intraocular lenses, implants and stents Dr Gunn uses are all MRI safe.
10. What can’t I do after surgery? +
- Avoid swimming for 4 weeks after surgery due to the risk of infection.
- Avoid heavy lifting or contact sports for 4 weeks (much longer for a corneal graft)
- Driving should be ceased until your vision is back to normal (usually a few days after cataract surgery)
- Try your absolute best to not rub your eye for the first 4 weeks.
- Avoid eye makeup for 1 week.
- You may fly immediately after any operation except DSEK or DMEK where you may need to wait up to 1 week. Dr Gunn will give you clear instructions if this is the case.