Last month, we answered general questions about cataracts and how they can affect your vision. This month, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about cataract surgery. We’ll cover questions about different types of surgery, whether surgery can include both eyes at once, if surgery can improve astigmatism, and if a patient can receive cataract surgery after LASIK.
Are There Different Types of Cataract Surgery?
There are several techniques for performing cataract surgery. Which technique your doctor chooses hinges on factors like:
- Your eye health at the time of the procedure
- Your doctor’s preference and expertise with the various techniques
In America, most patients can expect surgery methods that involve phacoemulsification – removing the natural lens with ultrasonic technology. It is then replaced with an intraocular lens.
Can I Have Cataract Surgery on Both Eyes at Once?
It is possible to perform simultaneous bilateral cataract surgery or cataract surgery on both eyes in one sitting. However, many doctors will recommend spreading the two surgeries out over several days or possibly weeks. Staggering your cataract surgeries helps protect you in the event of complications after your first surgery. Complications are rare, but they are possible. For many, it’s safer to have your surgeries at different times.
Can Cataract Surgery Correct Vision Issues Like Astigmatism?
Cataract surgery can correct astigmatism in two ways:
1. Toric IOL
Your doctor may replace your natural lens with a premium lens called a toric IOL, or intraocular lens. This lens is similar to the toric contact lenses people use for astigmatism. When inserted as a replacement during cataract surgery, the toric IOL will serve as both a new eye lens and a secure, permanent correction for your astigmatism.
2. Limbal Relaxing Incisions
During cataract surgery, your doctor could work to reshape your cornea, forming it into more of a sphere. This is done through small, calculated incisions on the cornea.
Can Cataract Surgery Affect LASIK?
Cataract surgery does not affect the results of your LASIK surgery or any other vision correction procedure performed via lasers. Since laser procedures correct vision by reshaping the cornea, a lens replacement procedure like cataract surgery will not undo the results of LASIK. However, it’s wise to share your laser eye correction procedure records with your surgeon; doing so helps them choose your best IOL for optimal vision outcomes after surgery.
If you’re in need of cataract surgery, schedule a consultation with Vision Eye Group: 478-744-1710. Our skilled ophthalmologists will provide exceptional care before, during, and after your procedure.
Stay tuned for the last article in our 3-part series on cataracts:
- Part 1—Cataract FAQs
- Part 2—Cataract Surgery FAQs
- Part 3—What to Expect After Cataract Surgery