Cataract Surgery Considerations After LASIK Laser Vision Correction
Reviewed by: Jason Jacobs, M.D. & Joel Confino, MD
Laser Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism has been performed in the United States for more than 15 years. LASIK, which is the most common type of Laser Vision Correction, has been used to correct the vision of many millions of patients. Many of the patients who had LASIK Surgery are now entering an age and time in their lives when they may typically develop Cataracts and will require Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens Implantation (IOL). Patients who have had LASIK are difficult to measure precisely and the postoperative refractive outcome is less certain than primary Cataract surgeries. That may mean an additional surgery could be required to get to the desired refractive outcome.
There are several considerations that those who have had LASIK and are now in need of Cataract Surgery should discuss with their Cataract Surgeon.
Be sure to tell your Cataract Surgeon that you had LASIK.
If possible bring a copy of your LASIK records to your Cataract Surgery evaluation and consultation. Your pre LASIK prescription and Corneal shape are helpful in his or her evaluation and measurements. If you do not have these records your Cataract Surgeon will help you procure them from your LASIK Surgeon.
Since LASIK changes the shape and the thickness of your Cornea in order to achieve the desired correction of your prescription, it may be necessary to take a number of additional specialized tests to get the best possible measurements for your Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL). These may include several types of biometry or measurement of the length of the eye, topography to determine the shape of your Cornea, pachymetry or corneal thickness measurements and aberrometry to measure the aberrations in your eye. The additional costs for this testing may or may not be covered by your insurance or Medicare.
LASIK Surgery can sometimes induce certain aberrations in the Cornea. Typically, these are called “spherical aberrations”. The aberrometry measurement will alert your Cataract Surgeon if this is the case and allow them to select the proper Lens Implant to deal with this aberration and minimize or correct it if necessary.
As a successful LASIK patient you have no doubt experienced the lifestyle benefits of being independent of eyeglasses for many if not all daily activities. With the proper selection of advanced technology Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) available today it may be possible for you to continue being “eyeglass free” for the vast majority of daily activities after Cataract Surgery. You should make your wishes to be free of glasses after Cataract Surgery known to your Cataract Surgeon so that he or she can evaluate you for all the possible options that might be available to you to achieve your personal vision correction goals.
The information that has been provided here is intended to give LASIK patients an overview of Cataract Surgery considerations. It is possible that your individual experience might be different. None of the information provided here is meant to be a substitute or replace your physician’s consultation nor does it replace the need for you to consult with your surgeon about specific details of Cataract Surgery considerations after LASIK.
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