What Does Cataract Surgery Involve?

Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens in your eye and replacing it with an artificial lens known as an Intraocular Lens Implant (also known as an IOL). The femtosecond lasers are now being used to assist with portions of cataract surgery in some cases.

When Should I have Cataract Surgery?

A cataract needs to be removed only when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, participating in sports, or watching TV. You and your eye care professional can make this decision together. Once you understand the benefits and risks of cataract surgery, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult. However, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

If your eye care professional finds a cataract, you may not need cataract surgery for several years. In fact, you might never need cataract surgery. By having your vision tested regularly, you and your eye care professional can discuss if and when you might need treatment.

There are several ways to treat vision after a cataract is removed. Cataract surgery is covered by health insurance when the cataract is visually significant and interferes with a patient’s performance of normal activities such as driving and or reading. Standard intraocular lens implants are also covered by health insurance. New lens implants are now available to correct astigmatism (Toric Implants) and to reduce the need for reading glasses (multifocal implants) but this type of implant surgery is not covered by health insurance as it is not considered medical necessary. In some cases, femtosecond lasers can be used to perform parts of the cataract operation such as correcting astigmatism. The use of the laser to do parts of the cataract surgery is also not covered by health insurance. These new options should be discussed with the surgeon who will do the cataract surgery.

Refractive Error: Introduction

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IOL: Introduction

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Monofocal Lens: Overview

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IOL Toric Lens: Overview

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IOL Accommodative: Introduction

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IOL Accommodative Lens: Overview

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IOL: Aspheric Lens – Overview

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IOL Monofocal Lens: Overview

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IOL Multifocal: Introduction

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IOL: Multifocal Lens – Overview

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IOL: Premium Lens – Overview

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IOL Mixing Premium Lenses

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Following cataract surgery, it is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions to speed your recovery and reduce any possible complications.

Cataract Surgery: Post Operative – Introduction

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Cataract Surgery: Post Operative – Early Symptoms

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Cataract Surgery: Post Operative Eye Drops

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How to Apply Eye Drops

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Cataract Surgery Post Operative: Activities

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Cataract Surgery Post Operative: Visual Recovery

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Cataract Surgery: Post Operative – Glasses Following Surgery?

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Cataract Surgery: YAG Laser Capsulotomy

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The Discovery Eye Foundation
Learn more about cataract eye surgery through The Discovery Eye Foundation.