Cataract surgery is the process by which a cloudy, aged lens is removed from the affected eye by means of an incision. It’s a commonplace surgery that millions of people go through each year.
Still, complications occasionally arise, and even without any trouble the idea of having a lens removed often causes patients understandable discomfort. Therefore, it’s important for you to select a surgeon you can trust to perform your cataract removal surgery. The following list of suggestions should help you choose the right surgeon for your needs.
Consider the Types of Eye Doctors
It’s important to understand the difference between optometrists and ophthalmologists, because depending on your class of eye doctor they may or may not be able to perform your cataract surgery.
Optometrists are qualified to perform eye exams and vision tests, but they are not able to perform surgery. Ophthalmologists have medical degrees and they are certified to perform surgery.
Both classes of eye doctor may serve as your personal eye care physician, but if you are seeing an optometrist, you will have to be referred to an opthamologist for your cataract surgery. If you are seeing an opthamologist, he or she will be able to perform the surgery directly.
Be sure to make note of which type of eye doctor you’re selecting when you make your plans for cataract surgery.
Look at Online Reviews
While it may not seem as common as searching for reviews for hotels, restaurants, or travel destinations, it’s equally important, if not more so, to search for reviews of doctors. This is particularly true if the doctor is going to be performing your surgery.
You can find cataract surgeon reviews on websites like Web MD, Health Grades, and even more ubiquitous platforms like Yelp and Google. Positive reviews are likely to be listed on an eye doctor’s website as well.
You should find it helpful to read these reviews and get some insight into other patients’ previous experiences with cataract surgeons. Opinions are of course subjective, but more positive reviews are likely to indicate that you will have a positive cataract surgery experience.
If there appears to be a trend of negative reviews and patients complaining about their surgery, it may be best to look for a different surgeon.
Positive Word of Mouth Is Powerful
Cataract surgery is extremely common. Therefore the chances are high that you will know someone who’s undergone the procedure before. If you have a friend, family member or neighbor who can recommend a particular surgeon, this can help narrow down the selection process.
Online reviews are helpful, but there’s nothing like good word of mouth from a trusted source to help you choose a surgeon. Friends and family can give you insight into the entire procedure, and let you know whether they felt comfortable. This is likely to help you make your decision.
As with online reviews, be sure to take any opinion with a grain of salt, as your feeling about a particular surgeon may differ from your friend or family member’s experience. But referrals always help the process.
Understand the Lenses and Technology Used for Surgery
Cataract surgery involves replacement of the existing lens with an artificial one, and there are multiple types available. Standard intraocular lenses are primarily designed for long distance viewing, whereas the more modern multifocal lenses offer short range vision enhancement for reading and driving benefits.
It’s important to take this into consideration when planning your surgery, because not every eye surgeon will offer the type of lens you want. Similarly, new technology for laser cataract surgery is now available and used by many surgeons.
Some patients seek to combine the laser surgery with modern lens options for optimal vision enhancement. It’s advisable to consider which eye doctors are offering laser surgery along with the lens type that you feel suits you best.
It can be understandably tough and overwhelming thinking about finding a doctor for cataract surgery. But as you can see, there are a handful of helpful strategies that will assist you in narrowing down the selection process. Choosing the right surgeon through reviews, referrals and knowledge of their speciality will help change something potentially frightening into an experience you can readily prepare for.