Ophthalmologic Surgery

New at HGH!– Cataract surgery starting in December 2021

Ophthalmology is a medical specialty that deals with vision health and the treatment of serious eye diseases. Ophthalmologists can diagnose, treat and prevent eye diseases as well as perform surgery and eye-related procedures.

Ophthalmologic surgery performed at HGH

  • Cataract surgery

Cataract surgeries performed at HGH are day surgery, meaning that patients do not need to stay overnight. You arrive at the hospital on the morning or your surgery and return home later on the same day. Therefore, you will have to be away from work or home for less time and you can recover in the comfort of your own home.

Who do we serve?

  • People aged 16 and older

How to access our services?

You must have a referral from your physician or optometrist to book an appointment with a surgeon at the Ophthalmology Clinic.

Ophthalmologic Surgery is part of Perioperative Services.

About The Program

Booking your surgery date

  • After the initial consultation with the ophthalmologist, if you do need surgery, we will call you to confirm the date of your surgery and follow-up appointments.

Preoperative appointment

  • A preoperative appointment is not necessary, unless you have insulin-dependent diabetes.

Preparation – the day before your surgery

  • We will call you to confirm your arrival time on surgery day.


  • Please make arrangements for someone to accompany and drive you home after your surgery. You will also need someone to drive you to first follow-up appointment to be held on the day of or the day after your surgery.
  • Your surgery will be cancelled if you do not have a ride.
  • Have the name and the phone number of this person on the day of surgery. For legal reasons, we cannot let our patients go home alone by taxi.

What to bring

  • Valid Health Card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines
  • Eye drops
  • Case for glasses or contact lenses removal

Eating and drinking

  • Do not eat solid food after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • You may drink clear fluids up to 2 hours before your surgery: water; apple, cranberry or white grape juice; clear soft drinks (sprite, 7up, ginger ale), and black coffee and tea. Do NOT add milk, cream or Coffeemate or your surgery will be cancelled.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol 24 hours before and after surgery in order to avoid any effects from the mixing of alcohol and the medications given to you.


  • Unless otherwise indicated by your surgeon, you may take your usual medications on the morning of surgery, including blood thinners like Coumadin, Pradaxa, anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil)
  • If you are diabetic, do NOT take your diabetic pills or insulin before surgery, but bring them with you.
  • Bring your inhalers (puffers) and nitroglycerin spray.

Eye drops

  • Please follow your surgeon’s instructions.

Hygiene and clothing

  • Take a shower and wash your hair before surgery.
  • Wear loose clothing in which you will be comfortable after surgery.
  • Please do not bring valuables at the hospital.
  • Do not wear:
    • Jewelry
    • Metal items – please inform the nursing staff if you have metal implants
    • Hair clips
    • Nail polish
    • Make-up, scented products or perfume
    • Contact lenses

On surgery day

  • Please arrive on time.
  • Plan to be at the hospital for approximately 3 hours.
  • Register at the self-service kiosk in the main entrance, and then proceed to Perioperative Services located in Block C.
  • Upon arrival, the nurse will confirm the time of your surgery.
  • The nurse will prepare you for your surgery and answer your questions.
  • The nurse will place several drops in your eye to prevent infection and to dilate (make it larger) your pupil. The dilation of the pupil is essential and gives the surgeon better access to your cataract.
  • You will then wait for your surgery lying on a stretcher and covered with a warm blanket.
  • As part of our safety process, we will verify information such as your name, if you have allergies, and which eye will be operated. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any point during your care.

The cataract surgery

  • The anesthesiologist or their assistant will meet you before you go into the operating room. You will receive medications through an intravenous line to help you relax. Your eye will be “frozen” with special drops and gel.
  • You will be drowsy but awake during surgery and will not feel any pain. Please do not attempt to talk during surgery but gently lift your hand if you have a problem.
  • A foldable intraocular lens (IOL) implant is inserted through a small incision and placed in the eye. The implant is permanent and cannot be seen or felt. It does not require care.
  • The wound is self-sealing.

After the surgery

  • After surgery, we will transfer you to the recovery room under the care of a nurse.
  • You will have to wait a few hours and get a post op exam before leaving the hospital.
  • We will give you written instructions to help you care for your eye. Follow them carefully – you play an important role in the success of your surgery and recovery.
  • Important: Do not drive after surgery. It is imperative that someone else drives you home. Also, you should not be alone during the 24-hour period following surgery.
  • Do not sign legal papers up to 24 hours after surgery.
  • Please note that your vision will be blurry for the first 24 hours.

Follow-up appointments

We will reconfirm follow-up appointments before you leave the hospital. You should have four follow-up appointments, and some may be virtual.

  • The day of or the day after your surgery, depending on the time of your surgery
  • Within the first week after your surgery
  • One month after surgery (surgeon or optometrist)
  • Three months after surgery (surgeon or optometrist)

Eye care after the surgery

Eye drops

  • Start your eye drops when you get home.

Eye shield

You may be given a shield to wear at night and during naps. This will protect your eye while you sleep.

  • Do not put anything underneath the shield (no gauze, no tissue).
  • To fix the shield in place, apply 2 pieces of tape on the shield and place it over your eye area.
  • You will need tape to hold your shield in place at night.

Eye cleaning and hygiene

  • To clean your eye if necessary, start by washing your hands. Use a clean face cloth and warm tap water. Close your eye and clean the lower eyelid only. Start from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Do not put pressure on your upper eyelid and do not rub.
  • You may wash your hair and take a shower the day after surgery. Do not let the spray of the water or the soap go directly into your eye; close your eyes and protect your eye with your hand or a clean facecloth. Avoid hair spray.
  • Do not apply eye makeup or mascara for 2 weeks.
  • For a month after surgery, do NOT rub your eye or put pressure on your eye (such as with your finger for example or by squeezing your eyelids).

Vision and prescription glasses

It is normal to have some discomfort in your eye, such as a mild foreign body sensation, for one or two days. We recommend over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol.

  • Your vision may be blurry for up to 2 days.
  • Your eye may be slightly red for 1 to 2 days.

Typically, you will get your best vision one month after surgery. Experiences vary among individuals. Your optometrist may then change your prescription glasses.

  • You can wear your old glasses if they are comfortable. If not, ask an optician to remove the lens of your glasses. You may wish to replace it with a clear lens until you get your new prescription.
  • We recommend that you wear sunglasses on bright and sunny days.


You may resume your normal activities as soon as you feel well. However, you must be careful with some activities for about two weeks.

  • Avoid heavy lifting and avoid straining. The golden rule is: If you have to hold your breath to do an effort, don’t do it.
  • Do not shake your head vigorously (when you dry your hair for example).
  • You may resume sexual activity when you feel well.
  • Do not drive until your ophthalmologist says it is safe to do so.
  • Do not swim with your head under water for 2 weeks.
  • You may pick up light objects from the floor but bend at the knees and not at the waist.
  • You may do light housework such as meal preparation and dishes.
  • You may read and watch television.

Business hours

Monday to Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


613-632-1111, extension 51701
Toll free: 1-800-790-8870, extension 51701


HGH – Main Campus
1111 Ghislain Street
Hawkesbury, ON K6A 3G5

Perioperative Services are located in Block C, level 1.

The Ophthalmology Clinic is located in Block B, level 1.

View the hospital plan.

External resources

  • For vision health information, and the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, and trauma to the eye, visit See the possibilities.ca.
  • For information on eye health, prevention and safety tips, eye exams, glasses and lenses, visit Eye Health Library.

Referring a patient for an ophthalmologic surgery at HGH

Patients must be referred to the Ophthalmology Clinic. For a consult request, please download the referral form, fill it out and fax at 613-636-6175. Select ‘Other’ in Specialty.

Appointment booking line: 1-800-790-8870, extension 82500

Medical Specialists

The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) provides more than 40 specialized medical clinics for residents of Prescott-Russell and surrounding region. For a list of clinics, departments and services, visit Refer a patient.