Good Hope, Heartlands, and Solihull Eye Clinics

After cataract surgery at Good Hope

Sister Joanne Bate

Before your cataract operation

  • a low blood pressure helps
  • similarly well controlled diabetes
  • smoking...even stopping days days before, reduces risks considerably
  • anticoagulants
    • Ideally warfarin patients should have INR checked on the day before surgery, to get an accurate INR and also avoid cancellations on the day.
    • If this is not feasible, they should be checked on the day, with the risk of cancellation on the day.

Your cataract operation

You have had a small incision cataract operation with insertion of a foldable intraocular lens. Small incision surgery means that your vision improves rapidly following the operation. You can walk and bend normally after your operation.


Immediately after

  1. You will be seen by one of the Eye Department nurses following your operation. Please feel free to ask any questions.
  2. When you leave the hospital you will have a shield and dressing on the operated eye.
  3. Your eye should be comfortable following the operation. You may notice some discomfort immediately following the surgery. Mild painkillers e.g. Paracetamol or Aspirin should relieve any discomfort.


The Day Following Your Cataract Surgery

  1. Your eye may feel slightly uncomfortable. This will lessen and disappear completely over the next few days.
  2. Remove the shield and dressing from your eye. Use the shield only at night for the following five days.
  3. Gently clean your eyelids with cooled boiled water and remove any debris from your lids.
  4. Instil your drops into the eye 4-6 times a day (your nurse will indicate your personal requirements)
  5. One of the Ophthalmic Nurses in the Eye Department at Good Hope Hospital will contact you by telephone the day following your surgery. This will usually be between mid-morning and lunchtime. If you are having any problems we will try to see you at Good Hope Hospital.
  6. You can walk and bend normally after your operation but in the first two weeks you should avoid strenuous exercise.


This depends on your vision in the other eye and the vision in the operated eye without glasses. You should ask you doctor specifically when you can start to drive. Generally if you can see very clearly it is safe to drive a week after the operation.



This depends on the type of work. If you have a job which involves manual labour, you should wait two weeks before resuming work. If your work is sedentary, you can resume your job 48 hours to one week following your surgery.



It is safe to wash your hair immediately after the operation, but do not get your eye wet for 2 weeks after surgery.



It is safe to return to vigorous sport about 2 weeks after surgery...especially golf and tennis. Lifting heavy weights should probably wait a little longer (perhaps 4 weeks).


Weeks Following Your Cataract Surgery.

You may wash your hair immediately following your cataract surgery. You should not, however, immerse your eye for two weeks following the surgery .

  1. You should not play vigorous sports for two weeks following your surgery. You may restart golf/tennis after 2 weeks.
  2. Continue your drops as instructed by the Nursing Staff on discharge from hospital.
  3. If you have any increased pain or your vision becomes blurred, please contact Good Hope Hospital On 0121 378 6085 during the day. Outside office hours or at the weekend, please contact the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre Accident and Emergency Department on 0121 507 6780
  4. Do's and don'ts...'word'.

Your follow up appointment

Will be about 4 weeks after your operation at Good Hope, or earlier if there is diabetic retinopathy. Healthy patients can have a check at their optometrists'.



It is usually safe to swim two weeks after your operation if you wear goggles, and are very careful putting them on. Swimming is generally safe without goggles four weeks after your operation.


Your glasses

Normally you are able to get glasses 4 weeks after your operation, but some people may have to wait longer. Sometimes off the shelf reading glasses may be needed whilst waiting for the correct prescription from you optometrist.
The eye changes shape after the operation.. you can get the glasses earlier, but then your eye is more likely to change shape, and then the eye will need a different spectacle prescription.


Your drops

  • You will be given some drops after your operation.
  • Your should use these as instructed, and get more if you run out.
  • You can get more from your GP.
  • These drops are anti-inflammatory steroid drops and antibiotics (these may be mixed in the same bottle).
  • You will need drops more often and for longer if your eye is inflamed, possibly less if it heals very quickly.
  • Routinely we recommend
    • maxidex (dexamethasone) drops 3 times a day for the first 3 weeks (a steroid anti-inflammatory drop)
    • chloramphenicol drops 4 times a day for 1 weeks only
  • no artificial tears during this time, and restart if needed when the cataract drops stop
  • glaucoma drops continue as normal after surgery
  • preservative free drops are needed (dexamethasone/chloramphenicol) are needed for patients with preservative allergies or very dry eyes