How Soon Can You Travel After Cataract Surgery?

How Soon Can You Travel After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the western world. However, even though millions undergo the treatment every year, you’re only likely to be in the position once (or twice). So, it makes sense that you’ll have loads of questions.

One common query is how long you should wait before traveling after having had a cataract op? But what do we actually mean by that? Car travel? Bus travel? Heading off for an adventure in your RV? What about getting on a flight?

Read on to find out how long you should rest up before getting back on the road again, whichever way you choose to do so… 

Cataract Recovery Period and Resuming Activities 

  • The first 48 hours
  • Weeks 1-4
  • 4-8 weeks post-surgery 

The first 48 hours 

The first 24-48 hours after a cataract procedure is the time that you should take things easy. However, by this, we don’t mean bed rest. You’ll be actively encouraged to gently walk around the house, perhaps head out to the back yard, or even take a gentle stroll if your fitness levels are good.

 You can carry out light chores, but this shouldn’t include any lifting or movements that cause you to bend downwards or forward. 

Weeks 1-4

You should aim to increase exercise gradually over these weeks. Travel by any means should be possible, including by air, as long as your surgeon says it’s okay. However, if you’ve traveled to take advantage of a particular surgeon’s expertise, you might want to consider staying in the area for at least a week after the surgery just in case there’s a need for a revisit. 

You should also continue not to bend over, lean forward, or lift anything heavy during the first couple of weeks after the operation.  

4- weeks post-surgery

By now, any type of travel should be possible as the healing process is well underway. Of course, everyone is unique—so, If you’ve had any hiccups along your recovery journey then you should be guided by your ophthalmologist as to what might be sensible travel precautions.

Flying and More Strenuous Travel After Surgery 

  • Aircraft and long-haul travel? 

Aircraft and long-haul travel? 

As already mentioned, most people would be okay to board an aircraft from 1-week post-surgery. However, common sense should prevail as to whether this is the right thing to do. If in doubt, take expert advice.

Long-haul travel should also be considered sensibly. While there’s no evidence that flying causes any detriment, even as soon as 24 hours after a cataract operation, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should be hopping on a 12-hour flight to Europe or any other long-distance location so soon after surgery.

Considerations as to how soon you should undertake a trip to a far-flung destination should include:

  • Your level and health and fitness before the cataract op
  • The healthcare facilities at the destination
  • The terms and conditions of your travel insurance
  • The advice from your cataract surgeon

Other types of transport you might want to be wary of for a few weeks post-op include 4x4 travel over rough ground, mountain biking, off-road running, and any other transportation that risks sudden jolts and movements over which you have no control.

Need Cataract Surgery? Get the Ultimate Treatment at the Modern Cataract Surgery Clinic

Cataract surgery, including the length of the recovery period, is directly impacted by the type of procedure you undergo and—very importantly—the skill of the surgeon. Modern Cataract Surgery is a world-leading clinical facility that brings the very latest cataract surgery procedures to the public. From cutting-edge laser options to advanced intraocular lenses, the specialist team is dedicated to the art of cataract removal.

Discover more at and call today to book a consultation.


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