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Intraocular Lens Placement


Intraocular lens (IOL) placement is a procedure to put a new lens in your eye. Your lens is a clear disc located on the front part of your eye. It directs light to the back of your eye. This procedure is used as treatment for cataracts.

Eye Anatomy


The week before your procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare. Arrange to have someone drive you home after your procedure.
  • If you wear contact lenses, you may need to stop wearing them a week or more before your procedure.
  • Your healthcare provider will work with you to pick the right kind of lens for your eye. He or she will check your eyes and eyesight before your procedure. Your provider will also measure parts of your eyes and check their pressure.

The night before your procedure:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your procedure:

  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.
  • 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.
  • 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.


What will happen:

  • Your healthcare provider will place drops in your eye. These drops may be used to numb your eye and help control pain. You may need antibiotic eye drops to help prevent a bacterial infection. You may be given medicine to keep you relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. You may instead by given general anesthesia to keep you asleep during the procedure.
  • One or more small incisions will be made in your cornea. The cornea is the clear, round covering on the front part of your eye. If you are having a cataract procedure, 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 incision may be closed with tiny stitches that dissolve, or left to heal on their own.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a recovery room to rest. You may have an eye patch over your eye for protection from injury and infection. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home.


  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have a fever.


You may need new glasses to see up close or have trouble seeing at night. Your lens may get damaged or slip out of place. You may see halos or streaks when you look at lights at night. New cataracts may form. You may develop an infection or glaucoma (increased eye pressure). Your cornea or other parts of your eye may be damaged. You may have problems moving your eyes or opening and closing your eyelids. Your retina may break away from the back of your eye. You may have bleeding inside your eye.

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.

Learn more about Intraocular Lens Placement (Precare)

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