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Intraocular Lens Placement


Intraocular lens (IOL) placement is surgery to put a new lens in your eye. Your lens is a clear disc located on the front part of your eye that directs light to the back of your eye.

Eye Anatomy


The week before your surgery:

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you wear soft contact lenses, you may need to stop wearing them a week before your surgery. You may need to stop wearing hard contact lenses for longer than a week before your surgery. Ask your healthcare provider about when you need to stop wearing your contact lenses.
  • Your healthcare provider will work with you to pick the right kind of lens for your eye. Monocular lenses help you see either far away or close up. You may still need glasses if your lens is monocular. If you get a multifocal lens, then you may be able to see better close up and far away.
  • Your healthcare provider will check your eyes and eyesight before your surgery. Your healthcare provider will also measure parts of your eyes and check their pressure. Your healthcare provider may do a CT scan of your cornea. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these tests. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after your surgery. Do not drive yourself home.

The night before your surgery:

  • Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.


What will happen:

  • Your healthcare provider will place drops in your eye to get them ready for your surgery. These drops may include antibiotics that help prevent infection. Other drops may be used to numb your eye and help control your pain. If your healthcare provider decides that you should have general anesthesia, you will be kept completely asleep.
  • One or more small cuts will be made in your cornea. The cornea is the clear, round covering on the front part of your eye. If you are having cataract surgery, your old lens will be removed. If you are having IOL placement for other eyesight problems, your old lens may be left in place. The new lens will be put in front or behind the iris (colored part of your eye). The cuts may be closed with tiny stitches or left to heal on their own.

After your surgery:

Your healthcare provider may put antibiotic and steroid medicines into your eye. He will then place an eye patch over your eye. This helps protect your eye from injury and infection. You may be taken to a room where your healthcare provider will watch you closely for problems. Do not get up until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay for you to go home. Do not drive yourself home.


  • You cannot make it to your surgery on time.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have itchiness, dryness, or redness in your eyes.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have sudden, severe eye pain.
  • Your vision suddenly gets worse.
  • Your eye becomes swollen.
  • You suddenly cannot see from one or both of your eyes.


  • You may need new glasses to see up close. You may have problems seeing at night. Your lens may get damaged or slip out of place, and you may need surgery again. You may see light differently than usual, such as with halo rings or streaks. You may form new cataracts or get glaucoma (increased eye pressure). Your cornea or other parts of your eye may become swollen.
  • You may have problems moving your eyes or opening and closing your eyelids. Your retina may break away from the back of your eyeball. You may get endophthalmitis, which is a serious eye infection. You may have bleeding inside your eye or may become blind. Without surgery, your eyesight may get worse and you may become blind.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Intraocular Lens Placement (Precare)

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