About cataract surgery

One of the most common problems that can affect your vision is a cataract. A cataract happens when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy (usually because of aging). During cataract surgery the doctor removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens.

Before my cataract surgery

Pre-Admission Visit

You will have an appointment at the Pre-Admission Clinic 1 to 3 weeks before your operation. This visit is very important to assess your health and help you prepare for your operation and recovery. Plan for your visit to take 2–5 hours. On the day of your pre-admission visit, take your medications and eat as usual, unless you were given other instructions.

Pre-Admission Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital
Main Pavilion – 1st Floor, Room 406

What should I bring to my pre-admission appointment?

  • Your health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
  • Any other insurance cards. You will need the policy number of your extended health insurance, if you have any.
  • Your spouse/partner, a trusted friend or family member (to offer you support and be a second set of ears).
  • All the medications you take in their original containers. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements and herbal or natural products.
  • A copy of your power of attorney for personal care and/or advanced directives.
  • A list of any questions that you may have about the operation and recovery.
  • The name or phone number of your pharmacy, as well as any medical specialists that you have seen in the past 3 years.
  • If you have had a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram and/or a pulmonary function test in the past 3 years, it would be helpful to bring a copy of the final report with you to this appointment.

Stop smoking before your surgery: learn how smoking and tobacco can affect your recovery after surgery, and how quitting can improve your health.

Back at home

You will continue to recover when you return home.

ActivityHow to manage at home
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  • After your surgery, you can eat and drink as usual. If you are feeling nauseated (sick to your stomach) or vomiting, you can get anti-nausea medication from your pharmacy without a prescription (such as Gravol, which you can take as a pill or rectally). Keep drinking fluids until the nausea stops. Then gradually eat your usual meals again.
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  • Go home and rest today. Then, you can go back to your normal activities. DO NOT use hot tubs and steam rooms until the surgeon says it's OK.
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  • DO NOT do any tiring physical activities or sports like swimming, jogging, aerobics or gardening. Your surgeon will tell you when you can play sports.
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  • DO NOT do any activity that might put a lot of pressure or strain on your eye (for example, lifting heavy objects over 5 kilograms or 10 pounds). DO NOT strain when having a bowel movement.
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  • DO NOT drive a car or operate a vehicle until your surgeon says it's safe to do so.
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  • Your surgeon will tell you when you can go back to work.
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  • You can take a shower or bath 24 hours after your surgery. Do not get water or soap in your eye. Use a clean washcloth every time and normal tap water to clean secretions from your lashes or the corner of your eye. Do not wash your eye with any store-bought eyewash.
Follow-up appointments

First Appointment: Where and when

You will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon the day after your surgery, unless instructed differently. If you do not have a follow-up appointment, call the office to schedule one.

My contacts

Who do I call with general post-operative questions?

Call your surgeon's office:

Dr. Yvonne Buys
Phone: 416 603 5682

Dr. Clara Chan
Phone: 416 603 5401

Dr. John Gorfinkel
Phone: 416 924 2766

Dr. Alex Kaplan
Phone: 416 603 6470

Dr. David Rootman
Phone: 416 603 5401

Dr. Matt Schlenker
Phone: 416 928 1335

Dr. Allan Slomovic
Phone: 416 603 5389

Dr. Shaun Singer
Phone: 416 603 6470

Dr. Marisa Sit
Phone: 416 603 5591

Who do I call if I experience complications?

Call your surgeon or your family doctor or come to the Toronto Western Hospital emergency department. If you are from out of town, go to the nearest emergency department if any of these problems below happen to you:

  • Increasing pain that does not get better after taking pain medication.
  • A gush of fluid from your eye.
  • Light flashes or spots (called floaters) in front of your eye.
  • Vision loss or no vision in the operated eye.
  • A fever (temperature higher than 38˚C or 101˚F).
  • Increasing redness or swelling on your eyelid that does not get better with time.
  • Increasing redness in the operated eye.
  • Nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting that continues for more than 8 hours and does not go away after taking Gravol.
  • Green or yellow pus coming from the operated eye.

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