“What’s better: one or two?” – Same Day Cataract Surgery

“What’s better: one or two?” Anyone who has ever been to the eye doctor is very familiar with this phrase. Measuring the focus of both eyes is an integral part of a comprehensive examination.  There is another situation in eye care where this question is being asked lately. What is better: treating one eye at a time, or both eyes on the same day?

At first glance, it seems obvious that it is better to take care of everything at one sitting.  It does not make much sense to get only one lens of your glasses replaced at a time if both need an update; you would not want to return to the dentist on different occasions to have each cavity filled, now would you? Then what is the logic behind having lens surgery performed on separate days for each eye?

Cataract and lens replacement surgeries have traditionally been performed on one eye at a time for several reasons.  First, there is the concern that if some adverse event occurs in one eye there would be an increased risk treating the 2nd eye.  Second, there is a belief that if the vision in the first eye is not quite perfect, the doctor could “tweak” the results for the 2nd eye.  Lastly, and probably most importantly, is that insurance companies may not pay for 2 eyes to be treated on the same day.

In fact, several large studies have shown that treating both eyes on the same day has no increased risk. Additionally, people adapt to their new vision quicker when both eyes see the same right away.  We have been performing bilateral same-day lens surgery at SightTrust for years and our results are in line with the studies: there is no increased risk; patients have equally accurate results as treating eyes on separate days; and patients are thrilled to recover in half the time!  In fact, over 95% of our patients choose this option because they do not want to delay their recovery and want to see the best they can as soon as possible.  Call or visit us to learn more about this cutting-edge treatment and to see if it is right for you!

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