1. I had the cataract surgery in my left eye a couple of years ago. I did not have twilight sleep for the surgery just a local anesthetic. I felt some stinging and pressure but the new lens was amazing. Retinal detachment in the same eye last Aug. completely out for that repair. I have had twilight sleep for teeth scaling; you won’t feel a thing. Don’t try to drive home yourself you’ll feel like you’re “King of the World” after the twilight sleep.

  2. MAS,
    As an Anesthesiologist I can tell you cataract surgery patients get a series of eye drops ordered by the Opthalmologist on the day of surgery which 1-dilate the pupil; 2-make it much less sensitive; and 3 reduce the pressure within the eye. The newer trained Opthalmologists usually use just topical anesthesia during the procedure, others want patients to have an eye block (local anesthesia injected around the eye and sometimes including the muscles around the eye). Check with your ophthalmologist regarding what they use. Anesthesiologists and their colleagues, Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) provide some sedation (midazolam, propofol) when requested. The old lens is removed with a special machine that breaks it up into small particles that are removed from the eye and a new lens is inserted all using very small incisions. You need to be able to lie flat and still so your head is immobilized on a special head rest. It is remarkably easy for most patients with excellent results….

  3. I had surgery for retinal detachment in the left eye, stents inserted into both eyes, and cataract surgery in both eyes and new lenses. For the retina al detachment I had an IV in my wrist and all I remember is the beeping of the laser while he was repairing it. No pain at all and I was so relaxed that they checked on me with questions throughout. For the cataract surgery and the stents I has laser surgery once again with no discomfort. Great Doctors! Also great nurses assisting who knew what they were doing. I had a driver for all procedures. Got to wear a patch like John Wayne in True Grit because they did the eyes two weeks apart. Good experience!

  4. I took my mother in for cataract surgery a couple weeks ago. They were doing 12 surgeries that day, we were number 5. As others have said, the prep was a series of three eye drops and a anesthetic injected into the eye. They also check your vitals, etc and they offer an oral sedative for those who are nervous. Not many took that – those that did were required to be wheelchaired out in case they were dizzy. We skipped it. The staff was very good, the process was very well organized. The waiting before surgery was about two hours. The actual surgery was maybe 5 minutes. Afterwards, she didn’t have any pain or any complaints. They prescribed a series of eye drops to be taken after the surgery. One was an antibiotic and two more were to reduce swelling inside and around the eye, I believe. That was been the only annoying part, there are three different drops and she had to take them each 4 times a day. After a week they stopped the antibiotic and reduced one of the others to three times, which is were we are at now. Her vision had halos and was a little blurry at first but it improved everyday and now it’s much better. She doesn’t need contacts in that eye anymore and her vision is much better than it’s been in a long time. You don’t notice how much it’s diminished because it happens gradually but to have it suddenly fixed is a dramatic difference.

  5. twilight sleep…sort of like when you just awake from a normal sleep.
    but it lasts a lot longer. don’t do anything dangerous or permanent.
    ENJOY the twilight sleep hangover, and let someone else drive home.

  6. I had successful cataract surgery about 8 years ago. In my case I had extreme astigmatism and nearsightness (wore glasses or contacts since age 6) so I paid extra for Toric corrective lenses during surgery. In my case I have one eye corrected for distance, the other for reading, and my brain makes the adjustment. I have been able to avoid corrective lenses ever since. One side effect often faced is a film growing over the replacement lense, which is easily lasered in an office procedure.

  7. I asked for informal advice from a fellow local IDPA shooter who is an optometrist. Here’s what he had to say:

    “…about the cataract surgery. One thing many people don’t realize is that you can specify the power you want your eyes to have after the surgery, thereby allowing you to customize your eyes for shooting if you wish. I had cataract surgery about 2 years ago, and I wanted to have eyes that would allow me to see and shoot well without glasses. So I asked for the power that would have the front sight in focus for my right eye, and far distance (4 meters) in focus for my left eye. It has worked great! So, if I am awakened in the middle of the night and need to use m gun, I don’t have to fumble around for glasses. My eyes are ready to go. I can see both the front sight and the opposite side of a room clearly at the same time. Some people can’t tolerate much of a difference in power between the two eyes, but it works well for me. If I want to see perfectly clear far away with both eyes, like in IDPA matches, I wear glasses (no-line bifocals) that give me a sharp focus for both eyes at far and near. I like the optimal distance vision so I can see the bullet holes in the target, and know whether I need to take a few extra shots. In that situation, my front sight is slightly blurry, but during the day, in bright light, my pupils are small, which gives me a long depth of field. So there’s not much blur….”

  8. Mas,

    I hope your surgery goes very well and that you heal up, get well and return to the range soon Sir!

    I personally have not had such a surgery though I did get and eye injury that was quite bad yet is now fully healed. My beloved, late Grandfather had a double cataract surgery and was very pleased. He said it really wasn’t too bad for him and sure did improve the quality of his life greatly in his last years. He indicated he’d preferred not to wait so long to have the surgery had he’d known this beforehand.

  9. Had my right eye done 2 weeks ago. No anesthesia. Was wide awake – well sort of …10 mg Valium. I’m claustrophobic- they drape you with a blanket with a hole cut out for the eye, so this was a 2x dose. Worked fine.

    As others said – lots of drops. Distance vision is improving; I should once again be able to count the points on a deer before killing it. Will probably still need reading glasses.

  10. Oh, and it’s really quite interesting when the doc says – “OK its going to get real dark for a little while” and you are under bright lights.

  11. Mas – I had cataract surgery, using the laser incision methods (which I strongly recommend despite increased cost), more than five years ago. I was 58 at the time, so I had relatively early onset cataracts. I have been near sighted all my life, and worn glasses since the age of 11. After the surgery and once both eyes were done, I can honestly say that I have never been happier with medical treatment.

    Absolutely good things: distance vision is at least 20/20 and on sunny days, better. No pain to speak of. No full anesthesia, just happy pills and local stuff for the eye itself. No post-op complications. I only wear glasses to read, and for very close work. Daily interactions and certainly shooting are glass-free and completely clear.

    Some not absolutely good things: It takes a day or two, sometimes longer, to get full vision. The period between eyes – one done and one not – is irritating. The docs don’t say much about it, but vitreous detachment seems to be a pretty common occurrence – happened to both my eyes, and both eyes of two friends who had similar surgery. You can look this up on the web – basically, you get “floaters” in the vision field, which is annoying but not too big a deal. You adjust.

    As I said, I had the laser option; a friend had the pure scalpel approach. He took a little longer to recover, but he was satisfied. I liked the simple, quick laser cut, that healed perfectly, almost immediately.

    Anyway – on the balance of factors and results, I am happy with it. Get a specialist to do it, someone who has done thousands.

  12. in our family lens implants are known as ‘bionic’ eyes. Had mine done 1 week apart 6 years ago and did not look back. btw Let the EP drive you home after each eye is done… better that way. and you will be able to see again. within 3 or 4 weeks you will see better than you used to.

  13. Had mine done two years ago. I had participated in a rifle match and had great difficulty seeing the target bull at 100 yards, so back to the optometrist who said I had cataracts.

    The most difficult thing was remembering to take eye drops on schedule for a few days prior to surgery, and of course for some time afterward. Amazingly easy experience. No pain, no stress, and was amazed at how well I could see later. They tilt you chair back, flush your eye with a local anaesthetic, you see a shadowy blur, the doc fiddles around a bit and you’re done.

    Ask about the differences between monofocal and multfocal implants, including side effects. The multifocals can free you from needing glasses entirely, but can cause halos and light flashes.

    • I have the multifocal and love them. Yes halos but I have gotten used to them. I shoot IDPA and I have no problems seeing anything.
      When I am at the gun store I have trouble reading the print on boxes of ammo but them all I have to to is pick one up.

      If you don’t want multifocal then get the ones that let you see sharp up close but then need glasses for distance. A good comprise for shooters.