Your Guide to Recovering from Cataract and iStent inject® W Surgery

Aug 22, 2022 | Blog

After your cataract and glaucoma diagnosis, it’s likely your doctor shared that you are eligible for cataract surgery. Additionally, they may have suggested that iStent inject® W is the best option to treat your glaucoma. We understand that deciding to receive surgical treatment might be nerve-wracking at first, but with the guidance of your doctor and the support of your family, you’ll be able to determine the right treatment plan for you, which is key!

iStent inject® W is one of the smallest devices known to be implanted in the human body that can have remarkable benefits for glaucoma patients with cataracts. If you and your doctor decided to manage your glaucoma with iStent inject® W check out this blog! We will help you prepare for your procedure and give some tips to guide you as you recover from your cataract and iStent inject® W surgery.

Preparation Is Key

Once your appointment is scheduled, it’s time to prepare! Before your procedure, your doctor will go over everything you need to know about the iStent inject® W. Performed at the same time as cataract removal, the iStent inject® W is a micro-invasive procedure designed to effectively lower eye pressure in those with mild-to-moderate primary open-angle glaucoma. Once they are implanted, the stents are so small that you will be unable to see or feel them. You can see in the photo here the implants are much smaller than a penny!

You may wish to prepare by bringing a list of questions to your pre-operative appointment that includes, how long the procedure is, recovery time, what you can expect after, and any other questions that come to mind about the procedure or recovery. You may also want to inform your doctor about your medical history and bring a list of medications you are currently taking. Since this is an outpatient procedure, you will be going home that same day. Your doctor may suggest you have someone readily available to pick you up and drive you home. In the days leading up to your procedure, it may be necessary to stock up on some essentials such as pain relievers, comfortable attire, snacks, drinks, etc. That way, you will feel comfortable and prepared.

Navigating Post-Procedure

After your cataract procedures and your iStent inject® W stents are implanted your doctor will most likely prescribe you an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to use. Your doctor may also cover your eye to make sure it does not get irritated since keeping your eyes clean and covered will help you recover from cataract surgery. Following the procedure, your doctor’s office will set up an appointment with you for the day after your surgery to make sure everything is healing properly. The recovery time after cataract and iStent inject® W surgery is typically quick. However, your doctor may recommend you take a few days off from work and refrain from certain strenuous activities. The risks associated with performing cataract surgery with the iStent inject® W are similar to those related to performing cataract surgery alone. For more information regarding specific risks associated with your condition, be sure to contact your eye care professional.

Things to Try While Recovering

With any medical procedure, it’s important to give yourself time to rest and recover before jumping back into your normal routine. Talk to your doctor about what recovery might look like for you, and how long you should expect to forgo certain activities, such as going back to work, working out, or running errands. The typical recovery time for surgery is a couple of days, however, complete healing takes about eight weeks. 

We understand you may become restless during this time if you don’t have as much to do while you’re recovering at home. That’s why we compiled a list of tips and ideas to help the time go by faster:

  • Download an audiobook: This is a great way to keep yourself occupied without having to rely on your eyes to read. Instead, you’ll be able to shut and relax your eyes.
  • Listen to music: If you can’t go a day without listening to your favorite tunes, ask a family or friend to help you create a playlist to listen to while you are recovering.
  • Call a loved one: To help pass the time, give your friends or family members a call! There is always catching up to do, and it may be comforting to hear a familiar voice.
  • Rest up: Most importantly, take this time to rest up! Recovery from your iStent inject® W procedure should not last too long, but while you are recovering, make sure you are taking care of yourself and listening to your doctor.
  • Stock up on your favorite drinks and snacks: In the days leading up to your procedure, you may find it helpful to stock up on some essentials for your recovery, such as groceries. This way, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute, and you’ll feel more prepared going into the procedure.

Road to Recovery

We hope these tips help ease any concerns you may have about your recovery from cataract surgery and iStent inject® W and give you some ideas on how to make your recovery fly by. Don’t forget to stay up-to-date on your eye appointments and follow your glaucoma doctor’s recommendations!

If you would like to learn more from other patients who have been implanted with iStent inject® W, visit our patient stories page. If you are active on social media, don’t forget to follow Living with Glaucoma on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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