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5 Questions To Ask Your Cataract Surgeon Before Your Surgery

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Before you go for the surgery, you need to ensure that you and your doctor are fully prepared. This includes discussing with your ophthalmologist about your operation. You have the right to ask as many questions as you can so that you are comfortable with your decision to have the ophthalmologist of your choice do your surgery.  

From the many questions you may have in your head for your doctor, you need to ensure that you ask the most important ones. The five crucial questions you need to ask your surgeon before your surgery are:

1. What’s the difference between traditional and advanced cataract surgery?

You may hear a lot of different terms to describe cataract surgery, such as “basic”, “traditional”, “modern” or “advanced”. 

“Basic” or “traditional” cataract surgery refers to surgery performed using a handheld blade to make an incision on the cornea’s side and then remove the clouded portion of the lens. A basic lens implant is used, such that the patient should expect to require bifocals or trifocals after surgery.

“Modern” or “Advanced” cataract surgery uses modern measurement devices and lens implants to achieve glasses-free vision for patients for either some or all activities. This surgery can be performed either with a laser or by hand. There are many different lens implants to use, and your surgeon should go over your options with you.  

2. Will I need to use glasses after the surgery?

There are many types of lens implants available for cataract surgery. Different patients are candidates for different options based on the size, shape, and overall health of their eyes. 

You can choose several types of lenses for your eyes, and according to your choice, you may not need glasses after you are healed. Your surgeon will take you through the different types to get the best from your surgery, and this way, you can have both distance and reading vision restored.

You need to learn more about the types of lenses you are getting and any other surgery that you need to correct any other condition you have that might affect your vision. The surgeon will take you through the different lenses and recommend the best to restore your vision.

3. How should I get ready for cataract surgery?

Even though preparing for the surgery might not be very challenging, you still need to know what to do before the day of the surgery. The doctor may ask you to take drops that you can use before or after the surgery to heal well, and you must follow the doctor’s instructions. Keep up with all the appointments needed so that it is easy for you and the doctor to determine the type of lens you need. There may be medicines that you need to take to reduce the risks associated with this surgery, especially if you have any other underlying conditions.

It is okay for you to ask any questions you want, including what will happen during surgery, so that you can be well prepared before you get your surgery. You may also be asked to prepare someone who can take you home after the surgery because you will be able to drive yourself home after the surgery.

4. How much will the surgery cost, and how much will be covered by my insurance company?

You must be well prepared financially, too, before you can get cataract surgery. Some of the expenses might be out of pocket, and you should be adequately prepared for any of the costs that your insurance company might not cover. Most surgeons have counselors who will be able to look up your insurance plan and review any of the deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses.

Sometimes because of the options in the lenses, you may need to pay for some of the expenses from your pocket, and the insurance company will not cover you for these additional expenses. The different procedures you may need may not be typically covered by insurance.

5. What are the common side effects and risks of cataract surgery

Like any other medical procedure, you need to know that it has some risks, and the surgery might also have some side effects. Your surgeon will inform you of the list of risks associated with this kind of surgery before you have it so that you are prepared, especially if you have other conditions.

When you know the side effects, you will be better prepared about what to expect after you leave the hospital, and you can call the doctor if you notice anything different from what you talked about. You can now be sure of what to expect before, during, and after the surgery.

If you are looking for a cataract surgeon in your area, use our surgeon finder here

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About the Author Written by Dr. Michael Shumski, M.D., M.S.E.

Dr. Shumski is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract & refractive surgery at Magruder Laser Vision in central Florida.

In service for many years to treat cataract patients

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