What is Cataract Surgery Actually Like?

What to Expect, Step by Step

Roz Warren, Writing Coach
5 min readAug 23, 2019


Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

If you’re my age, you might be looking at cataract surgery in the near future. Rather, you might be trying to look at it — everything is so blurry these days that, really, you can’t see a damn thing.

Having a cataract removed is quick and easy. And your doc can even insert a lens during the procedure to improve your vision!

So naturally, when I developed cataracts, I rushed to schedule surgery.

Uh… no. I put it off as long as I could. First, I couldn’t see well enough to drive at night. Soon I couldn’t drive during the day either. I had to switch to large print books. And forget about reading a menu.

But when friends began to hum the “Mr. Magoo” theme song as they watched me squint and stumble through my day, I knew I had no choice; I scheduled surgery to remove the cataract in my right eye. (You have to do them one at a time.)

So what’s cataract surgery actually like?

First, I had to pass a routine physical, and an EKG. Then, after a pre-op visit with my ophthalmologist where my eye was examined and measured, surgery was scheduled at a nearby outpatient clinic.

Cataract surgery means learning whether there’s anyone you can count on to devote 24 hours of their life to taking care of you. Your Cataract Surgery Companion has to bring you to the clinic, take you home afterwards, then stick around for another day, just in case.

If they also enjoy administering eye drops, that’s a plus.

Cataract surgery is all about the eye drops. I was prescribed different three kinds (in tiny color coded containers), which I began using several days before surgery, and will continue to need (up to nine drops daily) for weeks.

The day before the procedure, I got a call from my doc’s office: “You’re scheduled for 9:30. Get to the clinic an hour early. And remember not to eat or drink anything after midnight.”

An hour later, the outpatient clinic phoned to deliver the same message. Great! I love redundancy, especially when it comes to medical procedures.



Roz Warren, Writing Coach

Writing Coach and Editor Roz Warren (roSwarren@gmail.com) will help you improve and publish your work.