Preparing for Cataract Surgery

Eye Health

By Dr S.S. Gill

Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about things to be done before you go for cataract surgery.

It is always helpful to begin preparing for the day of your cataract surgery ahead of time in order to make the experience less stressful. A checklist that you may find helpful might include the following:


ALWAYS provide a detailed list of all medications one week before surgery as some of these may need to be adjusted. Never withhold information on any medication or medical problems that you may be having.

If you are on medication to reduce blood clotting (antiplatelet medication) you may be required to stop taking them several days prior to cataract surgery. Generally, cataract surgery is bloodless but in some instances adjustments may still need to be made for some medication. Also, with diabetic medication, the dose on the morning of the surgery may be omitted by your doctor if you have been told to fast prior to surgery. If you are hypertensive, you will still need to take all your antihypertensive medications on the day of surgery. Do not stop taking these medications unless instructed.


You may need a few days or perhaps even a few weeks off work after surgery depending on the nature of your job. This would be especially so if you have a demanding job or you work in an environment that is dusty or hot. Sorting this time away from work before going for surgery takes away unnecessary stress.


Arrange for someone to drive you to the hospital on the day of your cataract surgery. This should include transport arrangements on the day after your surgery too as you will need to go back to be examined on the first post-operative day.


Pay special attention to any special instructions given regarding meals on the morning before surgery. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to your surgery. Depending on the type of anaesthesia planned, you may be instructed to eat a light breakfast or be fasting before coming to the hospital.


On the day of the cataract surgery, your face should be free from makeup, eyeliners, cosmetics, ‘pottu’ or powders of any kind. You should also have a thorough hair-wash and shower on the morning of surgery. Wash your face well with a mild soap.

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