Choosing a Cataract Surgeon
If cloudy vision from cataracts is making your daily activities more difficult, it’s probably time to consider having cataract surgery. An ophthalmologist can remove your eye's cloudy natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens, restoring clear vision. If you are ready to explore this option, choosing a qualified, successful eye surgeon is your first step.
Here are some steps to help you select an ophthalmologist for your cataract surgery.
- Talk with your regular eye doctor. If your current eye doctor is an ophthalmologist, they may be able to do your surgery. Or they may recommend someone else, depending on what you need. For instance, you may decide to have a premium lens instead of a traditional monofocal lens implanted to replace your cloudy lens. To help you select the right type of premium lens for your needs, ask your cataract surgeon if they have experience with these types of lenses.
- Check with family and friends in your area who have had cataract surgery. If they had a positive experience with their own cataract surgery, they will be happy to recommend their ophthalmologist.
- Go online to find eye surgeons in your area. Use the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Find an Ophthalmologist tool.
Once you meet with an eye surgeon, keep in mind that you do not have to commit to them for your surgery. Here are some things to consider as you speak with an ophthalmologist about cataract surgery.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with that ophthalmologist as well as their office staff. Were you treated professionally and politely? Were you given enough information about the procedure, including its benefits and risks? Were all your questions answered?
- An ophthalmologist should never guarantee perfect vision from surgery. You should be told that you may still need eyeglasses under certain conditions.
- In certain cases, you may be told that you might need a follow-up surgery (called an enhancement surgery). That procedure should be fully explained, along with the extra costs for that procedure.
- Find out who will see you the day after surgery to check how you are healing (the surgeon, another ophthalmologist or an optometrist).
- Ask the surgeon if their surgical center has ever had an outbreak of eye infections affecting multiple patients. If so, how many times? (This is a very rare occurrence, but it is a serious problem to be aware of.)