cataract specialists

Cataract Surgery

Diagnosis & Treatment

Dr. Hooton giving an eye exam to an older gentleman.
Our Mission

To provide the best possible eye care for patients in Eastern Idaho

Eye Specialists
What to expect from Premier Eye Care:
  • Knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough service
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Optimal eye health and vision
  • Comprehensive eye care, unique to you

What is a Cataract?

A clouding of the natural lens inside your eye.

Premier Cataract Surgery

Our surgeons appreciate that each patient has unique concerns and goals when it comes to their eye health and cataract surgery. That is why we treat each visit as an opportunity for open discussion where questions can be answered and understanding can occur. This allows us to customize a plan to meet your individual needs and desires.

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in the United States. Modern cataract surgery involves the removal of the cataract or cloudy natural lens from within the eye and the implantation of an artificial lens. The surgery usually takes between fifteen to twenty minutes and can be done while patients are awake with only light sedation.

We utilize the most advanced surgical techniques and equipment supported by the latest research in the field of ophthalmology. We also value your time and money. This is why the majority of our surgeries are performed in our state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center with the goal of getting you home and healing faster.

Cataract surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Call or schedule an appointment to get a more in-depth look at your eye health.

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What is a cataract?

A cataract is a cloudiness in the natural lense of your eye. Cataracts often creep up on us as they are formed over a long period of time. You may wake up one morning and realize you don't see as well as you used to. With regular screenings, we can diagnose cataracts early.

What are the most common signs of cataracts?

There are many signs that you have cataracts.

Common signs include:
  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Having trouble seeing at night
  • Developing light sensitivity
  • Seeing halos around lights, especially at night
  • Needing more light to complete detail-oriented tasks like reading
  • Experiencing double vision in one eye
  • Seeing colors as more faded or yellow-tinted
  • Frequently needing new glasses or contact lens prescriptions

Will cataract surgery improve my vision?

Cataract surgery has several notable benefits that improve a patient's quality of life; improved vision, increased safety, correction of other vision problems, and more. Many patients report that their vision is clearer and more vibrant, with colors appearing more vivid and details more defined.

When is the right time for cataract surgery?

Ophthalmologists typically recommend cataract surgery when a patient's vision has deteriorated to the point where it is interfering with daily activities. They may also recommend surgery if the cataract is affecting the health of the eye or causing other complications.

One of the most important considerations is the impact that the cataract is having on your daily life. If the cataract is causing significant vision problems and interfering with your ability to perform everyday activities like driving, reading, or working, then it may be time to consider surgery. Other factors that can influence the timing of cataract surgery include the severity of the cataract, your overall health, and your personal preferences.

Are cataracts treatable without surgery?

It is common to delay cataract surgery. Cataract surgery isn’t always necessary until cataracts impact your daily life. Many people go on to live with cataracts for years before having surgery.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

The recovery time from cataract surgery is short. There shouldn't be any discomfort or soreness a few says after your surgery. Depending on the size and nature of your cataracts and your ability to heal, full recovery should take about four to six weeks. During this time, you want to be sure to follow the after-surgery instructions and do the follow-up visits with your doctor.

Is cataract surgery painful?

We understand that any surgery can make you a little nervous. Thankfully, cataract surgery is a smooth and painless process. We do most of our numbing locally on the eye itself. If you are extra jittery, we can also provide IV support to help take the edge off.

Days Leading to Surgery

Eating and Drinking Prior to Surgery

For your safety, do not eat or drink starting at midnight the evening before your surgery.  No chewing gum or candy in the morning prior to surgery.

Medications Prior to Surgery

Please take your regular blood pressure medication, heart medication, and blood thinner medication with a small sip of water. Do not take any other morning medications prior to surgery. Do not take morning diabetic pills or insulin prior to surgery.

Clothing and What Belongings to Bring to the Surgery

Wear loose-fitting clothing. Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home. Please wear your hearing aids and dentures to the surgery. Please bring your photo ID and your insurance card.

Can I Wear My Contact Lenses?

No, do not put the contact lens in your eye on the day of surgery.

Can I Wear Eye Makeup on the Day of the Surgery?

Remove all eye makeup the evening prior to surgery and do not re-apply until one week after surgery.

Make Transportation Arrangements

Please arrange for a responsible person with a flexible schedule to transport you to and from the surgery center. Surgery will not proceed until your transportation has been verified.

Sickness on Day of Surgery

Please contact the surgical center if you have fever, chills, heavy coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other concerning symptoms prior to your surgery. Surgery will usually be postponed until your health has improved.

Checking into Our Surgical Center

When you arrive at the surgical center, you will check in at the front desk. A nurse will then bring you back into the pre-operative room to check your temperature and other vital signs and dilate your eye in preparation for surgery. A loose-fitting gown will be placed over your clothes and an IV will be started while you are lying on a surgical bed. The anesthetist and surgeon will each talk with you prior to the operation.

Your Cataract Surgery

Fasting Morning of Surgery

Do not eat or drink the evening (after midnight) or morning before your surgery. This includes all chewing gum and candy.

During the Surgery

When you are taken to the operating room, the anesthetist will administer sedation medicine through your IV. The operating room is usually cooler than the other areas in the surgical center. 

The nurse will offer you another warm blanket for your comfort. You will be awake, but sleepy during the surgery. You will be able to hear communication between the surgeon and staff, the background music, and sounds of the medical equipment in the operating room. 

Your eye and the skin around your eye will be cleaned with betadine prior to surgery.  A sterile drape will be placed over your head and shoulders.  A small opening will be made in the drape to access your eye and a lid holder will be used to help keep your eye open during the surgery. 

The surgeon will ask you to gaze straight ahead. As you gaze ahead, you will see 4 blurry lights that are part of the illumination from the operating microscope. You should be comfortable and not feel any pain during the surgery. The surgery usually takes 15-20 minutes.

Medications Used During the Surgery

Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications have been shown to reduce the risks associated with cataract surgery. Many large studies have shown that when antibiotics are placed in the eye at the time of cataract surgery, the risk of infection is significantly lower than using antibiotic eye drops. Because it will reduce your risks for infection and swelling in the eye, we plan to put antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication into your eye during surgery.  This will reduce the need for post-operative eye drops. The medication we use comes in a single-use vial from a compounding pharmacy.

Post Surgery Care at Our Surgical Center

At the conclusion of surgery, the eyelid holder and drape will be removed and the staff will elevate the head of the bed. You will be taken to the recovery area, where you will rest until you are awake and alert. This usually takes only 10-15 minutes. Your eyelid will be taped closed and a protective shield will be placed over your eye. Please keep this in place until your follow-up appointment. When you are ready, you will be assisted to your car so that you can head home.  

Post Surgery Care and Recovery at Home

The anesthesia used during surgery may cause nausea in some patients. For your safety, we recommend drinking clear liquids for the first 3-4 hours after surgery and avoiding solid food until you are able to consume liquids without any nausea.

Medications & After Surgery Prednisolone Eye Drops

Please resume all normal medications after surgery unless specifically instructed otherwise by your surgeon—including any eye medications that you have previously been using. Start the prednisolone eye drops either the day of surgery or the day after, depending on the instructions from your surgeon.

What to Expect After Surgery

Your eye may feel slightly scratchy after surgery. We recommend you keep the eyelid taped closed and keep the shield in place to accelerate the healing and to prevent you from rubbing your eye. Please keep your eye clean and dry and avoid bending over at the waist or lifting anything heavier than 15 pounds. We will remove the tape and shield at your first follow-up appointment after surgery.

Concerns After Surgery

If you experience any eye pain or nausea after surgery, please contact Premier Eye Center at 208-529-6600. After normal clinic hours, a live answering service is available by calling the office number.

Post-Operative Day 1

Clinical Appointment

You will be seen in the clinic the day after surgery to check your vision and evaluate your recovery from surgery.  We will remove the patch covering your eye.  Most patients will still experience some blurriness of their vision at this time and describe their vision “like looking through wax paper”.  This is normal.

Medications & Eye Drops

Your surgeon will give you instructions and explain how to use your post-operative drops the day after your surgery.

Emergency Concerns After Surgery

If you experience any eye pain, nausea, or decreased vision after surgery, please contact Premier Eye Center at 208-529-6600. After normal clinic hours, a live answering service is available by calling the office number.

Post-Operative Week 1


For the first week after surgery, please follow these restrictions:
• No eye rubbing
• No water or makeup in the eye
• No strenuous exertion, no bending at the waist, and no lifting anything greater than 15 pounds.
• Wear the eye shield given to you at time of surgery every night for 1 week.

Follow-up Appointment

Most patients will be seen 1-2 weeks after surgery to check your vision and evaluate your recovery from surgery. 

Emergency Concerns After Surgery

If you experience any eye pain, nausea, or decreased vision after surgery, please contact Premier Eye Center at 208-529-6600.  After normal clinic hours, a live answering service is available by calling the office number.

Post-Operative Month 1


For one month after surgery, please continue to avoid rubbing your eye.

1 Month Out Follow-up Appointment

Around 4-5 weeks after surgery you will have an examination to check your vision, update your glasses prescription, and evaluate your recovery from surgery.

Comanagement & Updating Glasses' Prescription

Many patients prefer to have their regular optometrist update their glasses prescription after cataract surgery. Once your surgeon feels that your eye is stable and recovering well after surgery, he will refer you to the care of your optometrist if you so desire. Under this arrangement of comanagement, the optometrist will provide the remainder of the post-operative follow-up and check for glasses if needed. The optometrist will contact the surgeon if any concerns develop related to the surgery.
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Our Locations

Monday-Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 3:00pm
Idaho Falls, ID
2100 Providence Way Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Located South of EIRMC and Sunnyside Rd in Idaho Falls

Location Details
(208) 529-6600
Pocatello, ID
1777 E Clark St #310 Pocatello, ID 83201

Located on Clark St. right off of I-15 take exit 69. Between 16th & 17th Ave.

Location Details
(208) 232-4133
Rexburg, ID
23 Sawtelle Ave Suite 102 Rexburg, ID 83440

Right off of Main Street West of HWY-20 across from Valley Wide Country Store & Blister's BBQ.

Location Details
(208) 359-1888
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Dr Traynor consulting with a patient about her eyes.

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