Choosing a cataract surgeon can be a daunting task. With all the new and exciting technological advances in cataract surgery, there are a multitude of options available to improve your vision, and it is important that you have the opportunity to learn about them as well as to know what options might be best for you. And though many ophthalmologists are excellent surgeons, very few have experience using the latest technologies. Here are a few tips on what to ask surgeons before deciding who to use:
- Ask about their surgical experience – how many cataract surgeries have you performed, and how many do you perform weekly/monthly? The more procedures a surgeon performs the more proficient he/she is.
- Do they perform laser cataract surgery and in what percentage of patients – this advanced technology is more precise and safer than the older ultrasound surgery (phaco). As of 2016, only about 8% of all cataract surgeries are being performed with laser.
- Does the surgeon offer premium implants, and if so how many does he/she implant each month – multifocal implants (which allow people to see both far and near without glasses) have been around since 2004, yet they are used in only about 6% of surgeries. As with laser cataract surgery, experience is the key to success; the more procedures that a surgeon performs with laser and premium lenses, the more comfortable he/she becomes with them and the more likely he/she will be to offer them. Do not confuse a surgeon’s lack of comfort with laser cataract surgery and multifocal implants with the technology being sub-par.
- Do not be deterred by a surgeon who says that the technology is not good, doesn’t work, or is not right for you – it often implies that the surgeon does not offer it. Seek out another surgeon’s opinion.
- Research the surgeon – Online reviews, friends and coworkers are all excellent resources.
Lastly, be sure to visit a surgeon who specializes in laser cataract and premium lens technology – these doctors know the ins and outs of the devices, are extremely comfortable with using them, and know their limits. A surgeon who performs most of his/her procedures with laser and premium implants is more likely to tell you whether you qualify for this amazing technology!