Thirty percent of adults have issues with their cataracts. And as you age, the risk is greater every year.
So what happens when it’s finally time for you to get cataract surgery? You need to do your research and find the best cataract surgeon.
The procedure itself is quick, surgically simple, and has a low recovery time, so don’t worry about that.
Learn how to pick the right surgeon for you by making sure they check off the boxes below.
First and foremost, you want to make sure the person cutting into your eye is trained and certified. The American Board of Ophthalmology has board exams that even well-established doctors have to take every so often.
Doctors are required to take and collect continuing education credits too, so they stay on top of current research and trends. Make sure your doctor has an up to date ABO certification.
You can either ask them if they’re certified (yes/no) and when their last exam was or look around the clinic. Many clinics will display their doctor’s credentials for patient peace of mind.
If you want extra credit, you can ask your surgeon what conferences they went to lately, which will show you they’re committed to their education.
There are risks when it comes to any sort of surgery. Especially any time you go under anesthesia, which you almost never will for simple cataract surgery. The only people who “go under” for this simple surgical people are kids, people with Alzheimer’s, and people who get panic attacks.
Otherwise, you’ll be given sedation medicine and local anesthetic, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure.
Even though you don’t have the anesthesia risk, that doesn’t mean other things can’t go wrong. The best surgeons rarely encounter difficulties, but they’re willing to admit they happen.
Find a surgeon who will answer questions about what could go wrong and what they’ll do to fix the issue if it happens.
When you talk about cataract surgery, the doctor will replace your cloudy cataract with an IOL. An IOL is an intraocular lens that either corrects distance vision or does more.
The more modern presbyopia-correcting IOLs can help you see both far away and close up. The choice of lens is up to you, though your doctor may have a suggestion.
Before your surgery, you need to meet with the surgeon to discuss concerns and make a plan. After your surgery, you’ll have the doctor’s number if you have questions or if anything comes up.
A few days after the surgery, the doctor will see you back for a post-operation checkup. You want to make sure the clinic you’re going to schedules these appointments with the surgeon.
In rare circumstances, your doctor may go out of town and have someone else do your post-op, but they’ll tell you beforehand if so.
When you’re doing your pre-operative exam, ask your doc how many cataract surgeries they did last year. The answer, depending on the size of the clinic, should be in the hundreds.
This will tell you the amount of experience they have and that you can trust them!
If the surgeon at your eye clinic checks off these boxes, then you’re good to schedule your procedure. If you have questions before your pre-op or before surgery, go ahead and give the clinic a call.
It may take the doctor a minute to get back to you, but they should be accessible to address your concerns. The best cataract surgeons got into ophthalmology to help people – like you – have the best vision possible.
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