Cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis using just eyedrop anesthesia. The procedure (usually taking about 10 minutes or so) involves taking the natural lens out of the eye and putting in a clear plastic lens in its place. The patient isn't in any pain during the procedure. They're alert, but they're relaxed. There's an anesthesiologist there that gives the patient some relaxing medicine through an I.V. The recovery is usually quite quick too, so that within a few days, most patients are noticing a nice improvement in their eyesight. Now, there are risks. Any surgery does carry the possibility of problems occurring, so despite the full intention and expectation of the ophthalmologist of a good outcome, obviously problems can occur. It's important for patients to have a thorough discussion with their ophthalmologist prior to proceeding so they can understand if there's any special circumstances relating to their case.
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