Cataract surgery

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Cataract surgery

What you need to know

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Before your visit

Please contact your surgeon’s office to confirm your arrival and surgery time. Learn More

Before your visit


Thank you for choosing the Kensington Eye Institute for your upcoming appointment. By following these important tips, you will arrive prepared for your surgery at the Kensington Eye Institute.

We want you to feel comfortable in our care, and to make your experience as relaxed as possible.

Tip #1: Confirm your appointment

Please contact your surgeon’s office to confirm your arrival and surgery time. You also need to confirm your pre and post-operative eye drops with your surgeon.

Find your surgeon’s office 

Tip #2: Make sure you have everything you need

Click here for detailed printer-friendly pre-operative instructions.

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We recommend you follow this checklist to make sure you have everything you need before surgery:

  • Bring a valid OHIP card and photo ID. If you do not have this with you the surgery will be cancelled.

  • Remember, do  not to eat or drink anything after midnight or your surgery will be cancelled.

  • Please arrange for someone to pick you up from your procedure. Advise your pickup to come to the 6th floor to collect you.

  • Please note: Taxi services or wheel trans are not considered accompaniment home a you will not be released.

  • If necessary, bring one person with you to act as translator. The translator will need to stay with you until you are discharged from surgery. They will also accompany you home.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that opens up in the front. Please do not wear multiple layers of clothing, full slips or dresses.

  • Please do not wear eye make-up, perfume or cologne.

  • Unexpected complications and cancellations on the day of surgery may delay or advance your surgery time.

  • It is not advisable to book any other appointments on the day of surgery.

Food and drink instructions:

  • Please do not consume solid foods or have anything to drink after midnight. You may have water, black tea, or coffee only (no milk, sugar or artificial sweeteners).

  • Please do not consume soup or broth of any kind.

  • Please do not chew gum (this includes sugar-free gum) or consume candies, mints or cough drops.

Medication instructions:

  • Take your morning medication (but do not take diabetic pills) with clear fluids three hours before coming to the clinic.

  • Please do not take insulin on the morning of your surgery, bur bring insulin with you the clinic.

  • Please bring all of your prescription medication with you, in their original bottles.

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During your visit

We make it a priority to ensure you are at ease during your cataract surgery. Learn More

During your visit


How are cataracts treated?

We make it a priority to ensure you are at ease during your cataract surgery. 

Cataract surgery consists of removing the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL is a clear plastic lens approximately six millimetres in diameter. It replaces the natural lens and remains permanently within the eye. The lens has small spring-like arms called haptics, which prevent the lens from moving out of place.

When cataract surgery is performed, most of the natural lens is removed but most of the capsule or membrane that surrounds the lens is left in place. This capsule helps to keep the fluids behind the lens undisturbed and also holds the intraocular lens (IOL). A numbing gel is placed in the eye and light intravenous sedation is administered. You should not see instruments coming toward your eye and you should not feel pain in your eye during surgery. Phacoemulsification (a type of ultrasound) is the most common method used to remove the cataract.

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After your visit

It is normal for your eye to feel slightly uncomfortable, light sensitive, or red. Learn More

After your visit


It is normal for your eye to feel slightly uncomfortable, light-sensitive, teary or red. These symptoms should improve gradually.

Remember to contact your surgeon’s office for the date and location of your next appointment.

Instructions for after your surgery:

Click here for detailed printer-friendly post-operative instructions:

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What to expect?

  • Your eye may feel slightly uncomfortable, itchy, irritated, light sensitive, teary and/or red. These symptoms should improve gradually.

  • Your eye may take uptimes to 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

  • Your surgeon will advise you about when you can resume your regular activities.

What to avoid?

  • Do not touch your eye.

  • Do not allow the tip of the eye drop bottle to touch your lashes or eye.

  • Do not drive for 24 hours after surgery, unless advised by a physician.

  • Do not get soap or water directly in your eye for 2 weeks, an avoid swimming pools or hot tubs for 1 month, unless otherwise advised by an eye physician.

  • Do not lift heavy objects weighing over 10 pounds.

  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after surgery.

Ocular emergency

If after surgery, you experience any of the following, please seek immediate medical attention:

  • Increasing pain in the operative eye
  • Decreased / dimming vision
  • Increasing swelling
  • Vomiting
  • A fever (temperate of 38C or 101F)
  • A gush of fluid or pus/discharge from your eye

Please go to the nearest emergency room. During regular business hours, contact your surgeon's office.

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What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye which leads to a decrease in vision. Cataracts often develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. Cataracts can be a result of normal aging, an eye injury, previous eye surgery, or if you have taken certain medications. To date, there are no known methods of preventing cataracts

How do you know you have cataracts?

If you start experiencing symptoms such as cloudy or blurry vision, faded colours, trouble seeing at night, frequent changes in prescription glasses, you need to have your eyes examined by an eye care professional.

Cataracts can only be detected by having a comprehensive eye examination.

Related links

Ocular emergency