The authors attempted to discover the quality of vision experienced immediately after cataract surgery by those patients receiving subconjunctival anesthesia and no postoperative patching. Eighty-five consecutive patients who underwent phacoemulsification were studied. Anesthesia was topical tetracaine followed by a subconjunctival injection of a lidocaine-bupivicaine hydrochloride-hyaluronidase mixture. Visual acuities were measured within a half hour after surgery and at 1 day postoperatively. Immediate postoperative visual acuities ranged from 20/25 to 20/200. Visual acuities were 20/40 or better in 14 patients (16.4%), 20/50 to 20/60 in 22 patients (23.5%), and 20/70 to 20/200 in 49 patients (60.1%). The early postoperative visual acuity measurements vary widely. There was a marked improvement at 1 day after surgery, with acuities becoming more aligned with expected outcomes.