How painful is the cataract removal procedure?Eye Health Cataracts
My pain tolerance is very low, but my grandchildren have been telling me to go for the op. May I know how painful is cataract surgery, and what do doctors do to minimize the pain during and post-op?
All of my patients whom I’ve operated on for cataract surgery experience no pain whatsoever. This is because the wound is very small (less than 2 mm in size) and the incision is performed where there are no pain (nerve) fibres. It is also important for your eye surgeon to be extra gentle and careful during the surgery.
During the surgery, my patients do not experience any pain because they will be sedated comfortably. What they experience is a short nap, and upon waking up, the surgery is over.
While I do know of other eye surgeons who choose to perform cataract surgery with patients completely awake, I personally believe that patients have the most comfortable experience when they are sleeping and unaware of the surgery. In my experience, patients can get rather anxious about being awake and this anxiety may increase their blood pressure and affect the surgery outcome.
After surgery, my patients do not complain of any pain and usually do not need any painkillers whatsoever. If you are worried about pain, you may take Panadol or any other painkillers for 2-3 days after surgery as a ‘just-in-case’, however this is most usually not necessary.
Dr Claudine Pang
MBBS, MRCSEd, FRCSEd, FAMS (Ophth)
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