What will happen before I have the surgery?
Generally, a week or two before surgery, your doctor will let you know if there are any medications you should stop taking before the surgery, and test your eyes to see what replacement lens could give you the best visual outcome.
If you have another condition that also affects how well you see, like astigmatism (where your cornea is shaped differently and causes blurred vision) or presbyopia (not being able to see close up), your surgeon may discuss a replacement lens that could treat both during your cataract surgery. Talk to your doctor about the best options to free yourself from your cataracts, as well as your glasses.
It’s important to note that, while your health insurance typically covers the cost of conventional surgery and a standard monofocal lens, some out-of-pocket expenses are associated with advanced-technology lenses, like an astigmatism-correcting lens or a multifocal lens. Make sure you ask your surgeon if they offer payment plans so that you can make a one-time investment to achieve better vision.
What are my replacement lens options?
Depending on your needs, you can talk to your doctor about advanced-technology lenses, that also correct cataracts and other vision issues, like astigmatism (all images are blurry), or presbyopia (trouble seeing up close).
These are often referred to as toric IOLs (that correct astigmatism to help you see far away) and multifocal IOLs (that correct presbyopia to help you see near, far, and in between).
Will my choice of replacement lens make that much of a difference to my vision?
The lens you and your doctor choose can make a big difference to your vision after surgery. If you know you have astigmatism, then an advanced-technology lens that can correct both your cataracts and astigmatism may be your best option for seeing most things clearly without glasses. If you have difficulty seeing things close up due to presbyopia, there are also lenses available to help you see more clearly without relying on reading glasses as much.
Want to start learning about your surgery choices? Check out Cataract Surgery Lens Options to learn more about replacement lens options and how to talk to your surgeon about what you want out of your cataract surgery.
What other options do I have for cataract surgery?
You and your doctor can decide on whether you want to have a laser or manual surgery. Both techniques are shown to be generally safe and successful.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is generally regarded as one of the safest surgeries you can have. Although rare, risks can include: inflammation, infection, bleeding, swelling, retinal detachment, glaucoma, secondary cataract, or loss of vision.
When will my vision return to normal?
You can generally expect your vision to begin improving within a few days.
If you wear glasses due to astigmatism and don't choose a lens that corrects astigmatism and cataracts, you will still need to wear glasses after surgery. Similarly, if you wear readers to help you see up close for presbyopia, and don't choose a multifocal lens, you'll still need to wear glasses after surgery as well. Make sure you talk to your doctor about what to expect after surgery.
Looking to learn more about lenses? Visit Cataract Surgery Lens Options to discover the right lens for you.