dropless cataract surgery

Cataract Surgery – A Journal II

Joyce Bowley

Joyce Bowley, ASC Patient Surgery Coordination

Getting ready for surgery day. I’m between the age of 60-65 with no health issues, so I was able to have the need for my MD to clear me for outpatient surgery deferred. After the schedule was set, the nurse sat and explained my pre-op instructions to me: morning meds with a sip of water, nothing to eat or drink past midnight, the need for a driver. They will start an IV, so I’ve got to drink lots of (hydrating) fluids the day before to ensure the best veins.

Now, since I work in the Surgery Center, I volunteered to work until it was time for me to be admitted. The only problem I can foresee is a caffeine headache when my body realizes it’s not getting its daily dose. I went for years eating one meal a day, so I don’t see a problem with not eating until after surgery. I certainly don’t want to risk being nauseous while my eye is being worked on!

I have been approved for what’s called “dropless” surgery. This means I won’t have to pick up any prescriptions for a set of eye drops (antibiotic, steroid & NSAID) to use before and after surgery. Instead, the medication will be placed in the back of my eye at the time of surgery. Thank goodness! While I’ve figured out the best way to put drops in my eye, remembering to do so 4 times a day would probably require hiring a personal assistant!

Am I nervous about having surgery? Well, I am fortunate to know this team of surgeons and staff and be familiar with the entire process from A-Z. I have total faith in my surgeons skill. In the back of mind, I know that any surgery comes with risks and possible complications. I choose not to dwell on negatives. What would be the point? I will pray for the surgeon and his team and let God do the worrying. (This is what got me through my two children doing 8 tours with the Army in Iraq & Afghanistan without a nervous breakdown.)

My surgeon has told me I’ll need to be diligent in taking care of my dry eyes. For me, the hours I spend staring at computer screens has led to dry eyes. Seems I forget to blink! I do take fish oil every day as he’s recommended, which has certainly helped. But surgery will disturb the surface of my eye, so I will stock up on Preservative Free artificial tears for use after surgery. Plus, years ago I did have an injury to my left eye that has caused what is called “recurrent corneal erosion.” I used to have yearly flare ups, but since I started with the fish oil I haven’t had any problems. I’m aware this problem is ever present and I need to be responsible for constant care.

Other than that, I think I’m ready!

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