Pupil Size and Cataract Surgery

A well-dilated pupil is essential for safe and successful cataract surgery. If your pupil does not dilate as it’s supposed to, you are at a higher risk for complications.

Eyes.com is dedicated to providing thorough information about cataract surgery and pupil dilation so that you are well-educated before undergoing surgery.

Pupil Dilation

In preparation for cataract surgery, your pupil will be dilated with eye drops so that your eye surgeon can see your eye in full detail. Lighter colored eyes are more sensitive to dilating drops and will dilate faster than darker colored eyes.

There are two main types of dilating drops that work in different ways. Parasympatholytic eye drops work by temporarily paralyzing your iris sphincter muscle, which makes your pupil smaller. These drops will keep your pupils dilated anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks. Sympathomimetic eye drops stimulate your iris dilator muscle and last between three to six hours.

Once your cataract is removed, your pupils will be constricted with another type of eye drop so that an intraocular lens (IOL) can be implanted. If you have an accommodating IOL such as Crystalens™, your pupil will likely will remain dilated for a longer period than if you have a multifocal IOL implanted.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please visit our Eye Doctor Directory to find an experienced eye surgeon in your area.