Ophthalmologist Questions Cataract Surgery

How long is the recovery from a cataract surgery?

My mother recently underwent a cataract surgery and her vision is blurry after 10 days from the surgery. How long does the recovery actually take?

15 Answers

Most patients can resume full activity about a week after cataract surgery, but the vision will often take longer than that to see full improvement in vision. Many patients are fit with eye glasses to get the very best vision after cataract surgery. That is often done 3-4 weeks after the surgery.
Normally, it would take a week to recover from cataract surgery. However, if your mom is experiencing inflammation and swelling around her eyes, it can easily delay her visual recovery. To recover fully from this procedure, it may take up to 4 to 6 weeks. Your mother also won't be able to have new glasses until her eye is completely healed.
The usual recovery time for cataract surgery is one month. However, with the state-of-the-art technology the recovery time can be as short as a few minutes. With femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery most patient can see immediately coming off the OR table.
That depends on her preoperative eye health as well as the method that the surgery was performed. That is impossible or another surgeon to answer, because each patient is different.
Recovery can be variable and can take several days to weeks depending on pre-existing conditions, and the amount of post-operative swelling, which can be in the cornea or the retina. You need to ask her surgeon about the specifics of your mom's case.
The recovery from cataract surgery depends on a number of factors including any pre-existing diseases that she may have had. In addition, if there were any complicating factors during the surgery, that can also affect the vision. Ten days after surgery, her vision may be blurred due to corneal edema particularly if the cataract was dense and required a lot of energy to break up or if your mother had a condition called Fuch’s Dystrophy which puts her at risk for prolonged corneal edema after surgery. It may be as simple as uncorrected refractive error — meaning she needs glasses to get her best vision. She may have glaucoma (an optic nerve problem) or a retinal issues such as diabetic retinopathy. Her physician should be able to explain why her vision is still blurred after 10 days. She may just need more time to heal.
Typically about a week. She should speak with her doctor if she feels she is not progressing as she would like.

Frank Cao
Normally the vision is nearly normal by first day after surgery and improves over a few days. If there are problems such as significant astigmatism, macular degeneration, or other retinal problems, then this answer does not apply. Best thing to do is have a conversation with her doctor about what is causing the delay in visual recovery.
The answer, unfortunately, is quite variable. For younger people, with healthy corneas, sight can be dramatically improved in one day.

If the surgery was complicated the corneas can be cloudy for several weeks and require additional drops. In addition, the intraocular lens power must be accurate to see well. If she is not improving in a week and you do not have a satisfactory explanation, a second opinion is in order.
Recovery from cataract surgery is very variable. If your mother has any retinal pathology this could limit her final visual outcome and may result in a slower recovery. Other conditions such as corneal dystrophy can also be limiting factors. If she had a lot of preop astigmatism and didn’t pay for a premium intraocular lens she just may need new glasses postoperatively. Usually most of the visual improvement is noticeable after about 1 week. However her surgeon should be able to explain to her why her vision is still blurry.
It all depends on the amount of astigmatism that she naturally has in her corneas. If she has astigmatism, then her vision may not be clear without glasses, which usually are prescribed at the 1 month post-op period. Also, if there is swelling in the cornea after surgery, it can take 2-4 weeks to clear depending on the circumstance. You should ask your cataract surgeon as he would know better what is going on since he is examining the eye at each visit.

Humair Khan, MD

It could take weeks to months and could even be longer should your mother have diabetes, for example, and develop some type of complication such as macular edema.
The recovery of uncomplicated cataract surgery is very quick, after one week the patient should be able to go back to normal activity and vision should have been improved. Sometimes the patient get some blurriness from the drops that she is using or from dry eye after surgery, which should improved within a month.
Cataract surgery will take days, weeks and months to recover fully depending on how the surgery was done. After a month, see an optometrist for spectacles to correct any residual refractive error.
The usual recovery timeframe from cataract surgery is about a month with routine surgery without complications or comorbidities.