How to Choose a Cataract Surgeon
Is cloudy vision from cataracts making your daily activities more difficult? It may be time to consider having cataract surgery. Ophthalmologists can replace your eye’s cloudy natural lens with an artificial lens. The new lens will restore clear vision. Follow these steps to choose a qualified, successful eye surgeon.
Take These Steps to Select an Ophthalmologist for Cataract Surgery
1. Talk with your regular eye doctor
If your current eye doctor is an ophthalmologist, they may be able to do your surgery. Depending on what you need, they may recommend someone else instead. For example, some surgeons offer premium lenses that your current ophthalmologist may not.
2. Check with family and friends
Talk with people in your area who have had cataract surgery. Did they have a good experience? If so, they may recommend their ophthalmologist.
3. Go online to find eye surgeons in your area
Use the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Find an Ophthalmologist tool.
Ask These Questions Before Cataract Surgery
After you've narrowed your choice of ophthalmologists, it's time to meet with them. You do not have to commit to the first surgeon you meet. Consider these things when you speak with the ophthalmologist. Ask yourself and the doctor these questions to help you select the best surgeon for you.
- Do you feel comfortable with that ophthalmologist and 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?
- Are you interested in getting a premium lens instead of a traditional monofocal lens? Ask the cataract surgeon if they have experience with these types of lenses. He or she can help you select the right type of premium lens for you. They can also explain the extra cost you will need to cover.
- How many cataract surgeries has the ophthalmologist done? How many with the type of lens they are recommending?
- Did the ophthalmologist guarantee perfect vision from surgery? They should never make these guarantees. They should tell you that you may still need eyeglasses under certain conditions.
- Who will see you later in the day or the day after surgery to check how you are healing? This might be the surgeon, another ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
- Did the ophthalmologist discuss follow-up surgery? In certain cases, you might need second surgery called an enhancement surgery. They should explain the procedure and the extra costs.
- Ask the surgeon if their surgical center has ever had an outbreak of eye infections that affected more than one patient. If so, how many times? (This is rare, but it is a serious problem to be aware of.)
Each year, millions of people find that cataract surgery improves their vision and their quality of life. Ask questions to your satisfaction. This helps ensure that you will be happy with your surgery.