Choosing a Cataract Surgeon

Choosing a Cataract Surgeon

In general, cataract surgery has a high success rate.  Even so, you should always take time to research and carefully select a surgeon. Start by asking family and friends for recommendations. Your primary care physician or your regular optometrist or ophthalmologist may have suggestions as well. You can also get names and contact information for cataract/intraocular lens (IOL) specialists in your area from the American Academy of Ophthalmology or other medical agencies. Once you have gathered a few options, you should carefully consider your health and financial situation before interviewing the specific surgeons.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Cataract Surgeon

  • How much am I willing or able to pay for cataract surgery/how much will my insurance cover?
  • What type of correction do I need or desire? Would I mind wearing reading glasses if I select a monovision IOL, which improves vision at far distances, or would I prefer to opt for a premium IOL like Crystalens, which can improve vision at multiple distances?
  • Do I feel comfortable with the surgeon and his/her staff?
  • Is the facility easy to access for my evaluation, surgery, and postoperative care? Do I have the support of family and friends to take me to a more distant facility regularly if necessary?

Questions to Ask a Potential Cataract Surgeon

  • How often have you performed this procedure? 
  • What is your success rate? 
  • Do you have experience with premium IOLs like Crystalens? 
  • What are the potential complications of the procedures that you have performed? 
  • Have multiple patients at this facility ever developed eye infections at the same time? How frequently has this occurred and were the causes for the outbreak ever determined? 
  • Will the surgeon be responsible for postoperative care and recovery? If not, who will?
  • How do you bill for the surgery? Are payment plans available?

Warning Signs for Inappropriate IOL Surgeons

  • The surgeon guarantees perfect vision.
  • The surgeon promises that corrective lenses will never be necessary again.
  • The surgeon does not mention that later enhancement surgeries may be needed.
  • The surgeon does not give any indication of what is involved in postoperative care.

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