Dropless Cataract Surgery

We are one of the only practices in the Washington D.C. area that offers “dropless” cataract surgery. In patients who have difficulty taking drops after surgery, we have an alternative solution that can offer many of the same benefits.

The typical regimen after cataract surgery is for patients to take 8 eye drops a day for approximately a month: 4 drops a day of a steroid, 3 drops a day of an antibiotic, and 1 drop a day of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.

In ‘dropless’ cataract surgery, near the end of the case, we inject a medication into the eye called tri-moxi. This medication contains both a steroid and an antibiotic. Patients still occasionally need to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drop.


  • Quicker recovery– Since the medication is directly delivered inside of the eye, the drug has greater effect rather than being absorbed via eye drops. Our experience is that patients have less inflammation in first days post-op compared to those taking eye drops.  This means faster vision recovery.
  • Convenience– It can be inconvenient or impossible for some patients to take up to 8 drops a day on a fixed schedule. If someone misses his or her eye drops, then a perfect surgery may have a less than ideal outcome. In addition, some patients have difficulty with instillation of eye drops due to arthritis or a strong blink reflex. ‘Dropless’ cataract surgery helps patients avoid this issue.
  • Cost– The standard eye drops can frequently run over $200 for patients, even when covered by insurance.  For ‘dropless’ cataract surgery, we pay the cost of the medication. 


  • Floaters– Because the medication is delivered inside of the eye during the surgery, patients will notice increased floaters after surgery while medication is absorbed. This lasts for approximately 1 week.
  • Sometimes still need drops– For some patients (for example those with diabetes, macular degeneration, or high myopia), getting ‘dropless’ cataract surgery still requires a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drop one time a day.  Also in about 10% of ‘dropless’ cases, patients can develop rebound inflammation, usually occurring around 10 days after surgery. In these cases, patients will have to take a lower dose of steroid until the inflammation is controlled.

We look forward to discussing if you will be able to take advantage of ‘dropless’ cataract surgery during your pre-operative visit with us.

Part 1: What is a Cataract?
Part 2: Cataract Surgery with Champlain Ophthalmology
Part 3: Which Intraocular Lens Should You Choose?
Part 4: Laser Cataract Surgery
Part 5: Dropless Cataract Surgery