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Preoperative tests for cataract surgery

Cataracts / Preoperative tests for cataract surgery

Diagnosing cataracts

Nothing will stop cataracts from developing,and there are no medications, lifestyle choices or special diets that can make them go away. Cataracts are diagnosed through examination with a slit lamp to dilate the pupils, inspect the crystalline lens and assess the level of opacity.

If the specialist ophthalmologist diagnosis confirms that you have a cataract the natural lens will need to be replaced with a new artificial lens. As such, cataracts can only be treated with surgery. It is therefore very important that you see your ophthalmologist if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms.

Preoperative tests

If the patient does eventually decide to have cataract surgery, our specialists will perform the following simple and painless tests during the preoperative consultation:

medicion tension ocular

Measurement of intraocular pressure with a tonometer.

graduacion vista

Test for visual acuity and prescription.

diagnostico ojo

Examination of the anterior and posterior segments of the eye.

contaje endotelial

Endothelial cell count in both eyes.

tomografia coherencia optica

OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) on the macula of both eyes.

estudio ocular

A detailed study of the eyes (corneal topography, aberrometry, corneal pachymetry and laser biometry).

Our instructions for the initial consultation

Should I remove my contact lenses?

If the patient wears contact lenses, they should stop wearing them 7 days beforehand and come to their preoperative cataract test appointment without them.

Can I wear makeup?

Should I bring someone to the appointment with me?

How long will the consultation take?

Are there any side effects?

Cataract surgery is today a very safe and closely monitored procedure, nevertheless we mention the side effects.

Less serious side effects

  • Watery eyes: this is usually immediate and short-lived in patients that have recently undergone cataract surgery.

  • Light sensitivity or photophobia: it is quite common to be sensitive to light initially.

  • • Patients who have undergone cataract surgery with monofocal lenses will need glasses for reading. However, those patients who have received bifocal lens implants may not need glasses at all, as the lens will perfectly correct both distance and near vision.

  • Posterior capsular opacification: this occurs in the capsule that surrounds the crystalline lens (the eye’s natural lens). Once removed, an intraocular lens will take its place to fulfil the same function. To resolve the issue, an ophthalmology specialist will cut through the centre of the capsule with a YAG laser. It is a very simple treatment that will take no longer than 5 minutes. It should be carried out 6 months after the surgery as an outpatient procedure with anaesthetic eye drops. Your vision will return to normal immediately. This issue affects around 20% of patients after cataract surgery.

  • Corneal edema: is an inflammation in the cornea that can occur in the first few days after surgery. It doesn’t usually last long and is treated with eye drops and/or ointment.

More serious side effects

  • Posterior capsular rupture: this occurs when the back part of the capsule surrounding the crystalline lens ruptures during cataract surgery. The vitreous humour moves into the anterior chamber of the eye and pieces of the crystalline lens may fall into the vitreous cavity. The patient will need to undergo more surgery to resolve the issue. One of the potential consequences of this is that the intraocular lens cannot be inserted in the same place. Instead it will be implanted above the capsule or in front of the iris.

  • Endophthalmitis: this is an infection that affects the eyeball. It is the most serious complication that can occur after cataract surgery as it could even cause the patient to lose their vision. Specialist ophthalmologists can now control and avoid this infection thanks to the use of antibiotics and advanced laser technology for performing cataract surgery. The prognosis will depend on the severity of the infection.

Blurred vision after a cataract operation?

After cataract surgery, some patients may experience blurred vision. As previously mentioned, this may be due to a transient inflammatory process after the procedure and, therefore, it will disappear on its own a few days after the intervention.

Another common reason is usually that the intraocular lens that has been implanted in the patient "gets dirty" and the patient experiences lack of sharpness. This occurs because the intraocular lens is placed inside the capsular bag over the posterior lens capsule, which can become opaque. The solution is simple and in these cases the ophthalmologist cleans this capsule quickly and painlessly using a YAG laser during a routine visit.