Cataracts are among the most common eye issues that affect people, especially older adults. Letting it linger can negatively affect your normal routines, that’s why it’s important that you learn what you can do about it as soon as possible.
Depending on your current eye condition, doctors will usually suggest surgery as the main solution for dealing with cataracts. In the long run, it will be beneficial for you, especially if you need good eyesight for practical activities like driving.
Cataract Surgeries: What Do Patients Need to Know?
If you’re planning to see a doctor in Fort Myers anytime soon, you may click here to learn more about your various cataract surgery options. To prepare yourself mentally and physically, listed below are some questions that are worth asking once you have a scheduled a doctor’s appointment:
#1. When Should I Get Surgery?
Typically, your doctor will assess your current vision so they can have actual data to refer to when they’re trying to determine whether you need a cataract surgery sooner rather than later. In any case, the simplest way to know for sure that it’s time for medical intervention is when you feel that your vision is worsening, even if you’ve just adjusted your lifestyle for the better.
#2. What Type of Cataract Surgery Should I Get?
As of now, cataracts can be removed in 3 ways:
- Extracapsular Surgery
- Phacoemulsification (a.k.a. Small Incision Cataract Surgery)
- Advanced Cataract Surgery (Laser)
Your doctor will explain how these procedures are done, and which types of cases they’re best for.
#3. What Type of Lens Should I Get?
When your cloudy lenses have been removed, your doctor can implant various types of lenses to replace your old ones. These are known as intraocular lenses (IOLs). The 3 types of IOLs are:
Again, the best lens type for you will depend on your condition—whether you’ll have surgery on one eye or both eyes. Your vision preferences will also be considered.
#4. How Many Cataract Surgeries Have You Handled?
This can give you a good idea of how experienced your doctor is when it comes to cataract surgeries. As a follow-up question, you should also ask them what types of cases they’ve handled, and how well patients have recovered from it afterward.
#5. Who Will Perform the Procedure?
Although most cataract surgeons that you’ll find in Fort Myers are reputable and board-certified, you still want to ask who exactly will perform the procedure on you. Oftentimes, cataract surgeries are done by a team of competent surgeons—each of whom has varying degrees of training, experience, and qualifications.
During your consultation, it’s recommended to ask who your surgeons will be so you can meet them beforehand. This way, you can be familiar with them and discover what their specialties are.
#6. How Much Will the Surgery Cost?
The total cost of your surgery will mostly be based on your operation, lens type, and insurance. Without insurance, cataract surgery can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $6,000. If you currently don’t have any medical insurance, Medicare can take care of the bulk of your operating costs.
To feel financially and mentally ready for your operation, you should know how much you’ll be paying right from the start. Once your doctor writes the total costs in detail, get in touch with your insurance provider so you know whether your operation is included in their coverage.
You can also research other financial resources in Fort Myers just in case your insurance provider can’t cover the entire cost of your operation.
#7. How Should I Prepare Myself for the Surgery?
Before your surgery, you’ll undergo a painless test so your doctor knows your eye shape. This is necessary so they can find the right IOL size for you. Additionally, your doctor should tell you everything you need to do in the days and hours before your surgery begins.
#8. Will I Need to Wear Glasses After?
Needing glasses will mainly depend on the type of cataract surgery and lens that you’ll get. Those who go for monofocal lenses will most likely need to wear glasses, while those who choose multifocal may not need to. However, the caveat is that there might be some vision compromise when it comes to glare and distance.
#9. What Are the Possible Complications?
While cataract surgeries are typically effective and safe, it’s still worth knowing what the possible risks and complications might be. Depending on your personal health profile, complications may include any of the following:
- Eye inflammation
- Eye swelling
- Induced astigmatism
- Retinal detachment
- Residual lens contents, which necessitates a follow-up surgery to remove them completely
To lower your risks for any of these, also ask your doctor if there are any other health precautions that you must take note of.
Other Questions That Are Worth Asking
Before the Surgery
- Will it be harmful to wait, or should I get the surgery now?
- I’m currently on medications. Do I need to stop taking them?
- Will my medications complicate my surgery?
- Am I dealing with other eye issues that might affect my surgery?
- Are there any important details that my family or caregiver needs to know?
About the Surgery
- How long will my surgery take?
- Will the procedure be painful?
- Will you be using local or general anesthesia?
After the Surgery
- How long will I be confined?
- What eye care tips should I follow?
- What activities should I avoid, if any?
- When will I be cleared to drive?
- When can I expect improvements in my vision?
Consider Asking the Important Questions to Your Cataract Surgeon
Cataract surgery can be considered major surgery, mainly because it can end up being expensive when you don’t have health insurance. Hence, you should do your research thoroughly before pushing through with your plans. It’s important that you understand everything that the doctor tells you and ask about concepts that confuse you.
It also helps if your doctor can provide you a printed information guide about how they perform cataract surgeries in their clinic. When everything is good to go, consider asking for written instructions regarding postoperative care for quick recovery.