Cataract Surgery

Thanks Enipla for starting this thread. I am looking at cataract surgery for both eyes. I have an astigmatism and had lasik surgery, which corrected it for a while anyway. I was back to wearing both computer and distance glasses within 6 years of the lasik. But now, I have a chance for a do-over because I know what my pre-lasik prescription was. They can replace my cloudy lenses with toric lenses. Getting the special lenses is an OOP expense that I’m not looking forward to but, for the same reason I got lasik, I’m willing to pay the OOP price. I just want to get back to a single pair of glasses. I hope to have the surgery later this year or early next year. It might be a bit of a challenge because of a self-healed retinal tear in one eye. I’ll continue following this thread with great interest.

Good luck tomorrow!! Are you opting for sedation of any sort?

I see my eye doc early next week. I’m “looking forward” to the surgery, as I’m getting less comfortable driving in low light situations. Friday I needed to pick my husband up at work (he’d had to work late and missed the late bus) and it was twilight by the time he was ready; I became VERY uncomfortable driving to get him.

Then I parked, and realized I’d forgotten to put my distance glasses on! :smack: (I have “room distance” progressives that serve for computer / reading, that I wear around the house, and I keep my true distance glasses in the car). I still don’t like driving when it’s dark though.

Me, too, a bit. Your post prompted me to Google around and see if my crummy night vision is something to mention at my next ophthalmologist appointment.

I turned up a very interesting article written by an eye doctor about his own cataract surgery. It’s worth a read.

Ok. Surgery was yesterday. Everything went according to plan and no problems.

I’ll just give a run down…

Arrived as scheduled at 10am. Surgery at 11:30. Was out of there by 12:30.

A run down -

Got into pre-op and only had to take off shirt and put gown on. Kept my pants. Got the usual pre-op stuff. BP, heart rate, temp and saline IV. Then 4 rounds of three eye drops. Had to wait a good hour for eyes to dialate properly, and what ever else the drops do.

Then to a laser to measure things again. Then to operating room for the procedure. I was what the call put in ‘twilight’ as far as sedation. But I don’t think I felt a bit different at all. I heard everything everyone said. Even at one point tried to cross my legs to get more comfy. :shrug:

The eye itself was numbed with drops. May have been a little uncomfortable a few times. No worse than getting splashed by water. Mostly it was like a concert light show.

Wore an eye shield all day yesterday and need to sleep with it for a week just to protect it. I have to put drops in my eye 4 times a day for 3 weeks.

Results (so far) - It’s not yet been 24 hours, and my near vision is much better than expected. To the point that for the surgery eye I don’t need readers. The surgery eye without reading glasses is as good or better than the ‘good’ eye with readers. I’m gonna have to figure out how that’s gonna work.

Distance vision no longer cloudy, but it is quite blurry. That’s to be expected and should clear up in the next 8-10 days. I have a multi-focal lens made by ‘Symphony’. I’m sure my eye is adjusting and probably inflamed.

I go in for a post op check up today. I’ll report back as I find out new info.

Thanks for the update. Sounds lie it went well. Good!

You got to keep your pants on — a good thing. Those stupid flimsy gowns are humbling.

One hour for eyes to fully dilate(!). That sounds like a long time.

Get good rest, and whatever you do, be sure to follow the doc’s post op instructions!

Yeah, it does sound long. But they did want to start prepping anyone 1.5 hours before surgery. Different meds you may be on make it take longer. Flowmax is one. The worst part was being a bit bored. I had my kindle with me, but they recommended keeping my eye closed so it would dialate quicker. :shrug: as I wanted the best outcome, I just closed my eyes and layed there.

Thanks for the details. Please let us know how you like the multi-focus lens once your distance vision clears.

Good to know about that! I’ll remember to bring an iPod with an audiobook or something when my time comes.

OP here. All is great.

Four days after surgery. No discomfort. Never really had any. Redness in eye is going away.

I don’t really need reading glasses anymore as my ‘new’ eye is great up close. Distance is nearly as good as my old eye. The close sight is very nice as I can very quickly and easily see gauges and speedo in car. I don’t wear readers while driving and I do know where the gauge should be at, but it’s nice to see the numbers again with a very quick glance.

I keep putting on my reading glasses out of habit, but don’t really need them. I have taken out the left lens of two pair for any long time on computer. Left eye doesn’t need correction for reading any more so it’s a bit… odd.

How is your nighttime vision?

I keep reading of the multifocals causing issues with halos etc. especially at night and that’s concerning to me - right now I’m leaning toward a single vision lens; perhaps getting the other eye done as slightly nearsighted when the time comes.

I might consider an accommodating lens (adjusts somewhat for nearer vision) though from what I read, those don’t work quite as well for people who started out nearsighted.

I see the eye doc tomorrow, in fact, so I’m piling up the questions. I’m hoping to come away with a surgery date scheduled.

Oooh - forgot to ask: if you don’t mind spilling, how much did the premium lens cost you out of pocket vs. a plain one?

Night time vision seems fine. But I have not driven yet. I did some star gazing over the weekend looking for the Perseids meteors. Only saw a few. Just don’t have the patience.

I think out of pocket costs where about $3300. The lens about 2300 and I opted for some special laser measurement that they do AFTER they take out the cataract and before putting in the new lens. I guess they can fine tune things a bit better that way.

All in all I VERY happy with the outcome.

Will you have the other eye done soon?

. My eye doc says he sees a trace of cataract in the other eye. And it’s the same kind of fast developing cataract. But he says, it could be 4 months or 4 years. I’m hoping in about a year. Insurance won’t cover it if it’s just a trace.

From an insurance standpoint, you might be better off getting it done this year (that is, if it’s advanced enough) because of deductible / out of pocket issues.

And me: Just got back from the eye doc. No go, right now - my eye pressure has always tended to be on the high side, doc put me on drops 2 months ago - and they made no difference at all. So, a different drop for a month then we’ll see. Phooey. I wanted this DONE. :frowning:

We did discuss lens options. She recommends going with a toric lens (to handle the astigmatism in that eye). She does NOT recommend an “accommodating” lens which supposedly adjusts (a bit) to handle closer up stuff. She pointed out the pros and cons of a multifocal. We discussed monovision - and she urges me to leave the left eye a bit on the nearsignted side (that’s the one that’s going downhill so fast) and let the right eye remain dominant. I’ll have to think about that - there are studies showing equally good results with monovision when the dominant eye is the weaker versus the stronger.


A couple more comments:

  1. doc kept using the word “accommodating” to refer to the multifocals. I finally interrupted her to make sure I was following the terminology right. A bit annoying, as all the websites talk about “multifocal” vs “accommodating”.

  2. I held off on the new eye drops last night because I’m also dealing with a mild case of swimmer’s ear, which requires drops a couple times of day including bedtime. The new eyedrops are also taken at bedtime. I did NOT want to mix those two up :eek::smack:

  3. Doc said that the learning curve with multifocals can be several months. Are you finding you are adapting quickly?

I agree. I was confused too.

Huh. I did my second follow up with an optometrist today. My new eye with the new IOL is very close to 20/20. Better than my other original equipment eye. Took me a couple of days for things to get that clear. I suspect it was just some inflammation/irritation. Really no learning curve for me. I’m using the Symfony Multi-Focal lens.

The thing is, I can also see up close/read with the new IOL. So, until I get the other eye done, I may end up with a single multi-focal contact lens for it to balance things out. For now, when doing a lot of reading or computer work, I wear readers with one lens knocked out.

Good luck. It’s going GREAT for me.

Is yours toric (i.e. correcting astigmatism)? My eye doc was strongly urging me to go for a toric lens because I’ve got something like 1.5 diopters of astigmatism in that eye.

If I understand what I’m reading online, the toric version of the Symfony seems to have been approved based on Tecnis’s existing toric lens + the non-toric Symfony version, or something, and there seems to be less data out there re the toric version of the Symfony. I think I’ll leave a message for the eye doc that I’m interested in this one; I don’t know what (if any) experience she has with this specific model.

She did say, when discussing torics in general, “I’ve learned not to sav ‘never’, because I said “I’ve never had to reposition a toric” and the following week I had to do it for the first time”.

Some of the testing they did the other day was weird. One thing had me looking into a red dot - and with the left eye I could really see hazy red sparkles around the middle. Not so much with the right eye which obviously has much less of a cataract.

Another one involved placing a probe directly on the eyeball, and filling the probe with water (to double check ocular depth, I think). Then she wanted me to turn my head while the probe was still on the eye so the water would rain to the side. I yelled “NO, take it off NOW, I don’t CARE about getting wet” because I could feel the pressure and I thought that moving while the eyeball was being leaned on by an elephant was a bad idea. Then that gadget wasn’t even capturing the readings. Grrrr.

I don’t think mine are toric. I really don’t know.

Sorry you are having some difficulties with the tests and measurements. I know exactly which one you are talking about. Pretty weird, and mostly I wondered just how in the hell that worked.

The good news is the surgery is not like that at all. I was sedated, in ‘twilight’ but I think I remember most of it (the docs where all talking about football). Anyway, it was mostly just a bunch of colored lights. Never felt any pressure or intrusion.

“Hey! Trees got leaves!” I said to Zyada as we walked out the door after the surgery. I knew that, but it was the first time I’d seen it easily in quite a while.

I had it done (on my one and only working eye) by Dr. Who*, and haven’t seen him since - I have no idea what century he’s been visiting since. There were no problems on the next-day, next-week, or next-month checkups, and in fact the doc on the monthly was so excited when I read 20/20 that he was almost jumping up and down. (For fear of someone getting hurt, I was very quiet about reading the next line of the chart to myself.)

The only downside is that, like Mama Mapp mentioned above, I lost my microscopic vision. It’s no big deal. Seeing past the end of my arm is better than seeing within an inch of my eye.

  • In this incarnation he spells his name “Hu” but I didn’t call him on it.

“Hey! Trees got leaves!” I said to Zyada as we walked out of the surgery. I did know that, but hadn’t seen it easily for a while.

I had it done by Dr. Who*. I haven’t seen him since, and have no idea which century he’s off to. There were no problems on the next-day, next-week, or next-month checkups. In fact, the doc who did the monthly was almost jumping up and down when I read 20/20. (For fear of somebody getting hurt, I was very, very quiet as I read the next line to myself.)

The only downside is that, like Mama Mapp mentioned above, I lost my microscopic vision. No matter - I’d rather see past the end of my arm than see details of something half an inch from my eye.

  • In this incarnation he spells it “Hu” but I didn’t call him on it.