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Can We Talk Cataract Surgery?
Old 01-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
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Can We Talk Cataract Surgery?

I found some helpful older threads on this topic, but too old to revive. I just got diagnosed as needing cataract surgery in one eye. Several years ago I had eye surgery on that eye and was informed that a likely side effect would be needing cataract surgery down the road. Well, here we are. I've lost sight rather dramatically over the last few months in that eye and will probably be have the surgery in February. After the former, more extensive surgery this actually sounds like it will be a piece of cake. I'm not afraid of it as much as impatient to get it over and get my faded sight back in that eye. I have a lot of eye strain these days from reading (although my other eye is just fine and has become really dominant).

Due to my other issues in that eye, I am not sure yet whether I am a good candidate for monofocal only, or for the choice of multifocal. I go in for that appointment in two weeks. I'm beginning my research, however. Anyone out there who has had the surgery done and has an opinion? According to the literature I brought home, my choices are: AcrySof IQ ReStor IOL Multifocal; or AcrySof IQ IOL Monofocal (distance). There's also a third choice, a monofocal for astigmatism, but I don't think I need that.

Also, my insurance (BCBS, through my workplace) covers the surgery but not the lense. Any ballpark figures on how expensive the various lenses are?

Thanks for any and all responses.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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It has been a bit more than two years since I had cataract surgery for both eyes. I ude
I used complementary multi-focal lens (one did best at mid-far and the other close-mid). The lenses where about 2k each and where a great investment. Basically free of glasses for first time in 45 yrs
Nwsteve
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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I had cataract surgery six years ago and opted for mono vision . I had worn mono vision contacts with success so I went with that option. The insurance did pay for my lenses but if I had opted for multi focal it would have been extra plus they were pretty new at that time . Except for a cheap pair of readers that I wear if I am reading for a long time no glasses and great vision. The surgery was simple .
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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I had cataract surgery in one eye a few years ago, and needed the lens for astigmatism. I can't help you on your lens choices, but can tell you that the actual surgery was easy, the vision improvement was dramatic and well worth the inconvenience. I think you'll be very happy with the results.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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My wife just had it done. No problems at all. Sees perfectly now. Monofocus so she will need readers.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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I had the surgery in one eye about 8 years ago. I had told the doc that I wanted 20-20 if possible. I don't mind reading glasses, but I don't like to wear corrective glasses all the time. He suggested that I go for "reading" vision with this eye since I already had "distance" with the other eye. I said NO! I was already struggling with watching TV and even driving because of the disparity between the two eyes. I tend to cross the eyes - partly because of the disparity.

So once the operation had healed, I discovered that I was 20-40 in the "new" eye. I was not happy, but the doc said it was just the variability of results that I had to accept. He then tried to tell me (once again) of the advantage this would give me in being able to use one eye for reading and one for driving.

When the next eye was "due", I went to another surgeon who, though he would not guarantee 20-20 in that eye, he was reasonably certain it would not be as bad as 20-40. Sure enough, he got me 20-20 in the "newer" eye. So, I still have problems with being 20-20 and 20-40, but I prefer that to 20-40 in both.

So, if I am making any point here (other than to whine) I guess it would be to make sure you and the surgeon are on the same page about what YOU want and that he is up front with you about what you can expect from the surgery - no sugar coating, no "recommendations", just "options" with advantages and disadvantages.

Good luck and YMMV.
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Successful Surgery!
Old 03-19-2012, 05:28 AM   #7
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Successful Surgery!

Had the surgery last Wednesday--man, what a piece of cake! The pre-op build up was far worse than the actual surgery (especially weaning myself off my morning coffee). I opted for a lens that gives me reading ability in my right eye and it came out at about 20/40 (so far). The other eye is 20/20 and great for distance. Since my cataract developed quickly and left me feeling nearly blind in that eye, I'm now back to where the sight was last summer and feeling much better. Hoorah for modern medicine!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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I'm glad it went well for you. I agree that getting ready for surgery and waiting for surgery was the worst. You may still be doing eye drops and follow up appointments. I was elated when I finally got finished with everything. Congrats.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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This sort of surgery sort of freaks me out. I'm not comfortable with sharp pointy things near my eyes. Do they use some sort of drugs to knock you out, or at least tranquilize and block memory (versed?) before surgery? Both DW and I may be facing this in a few years.
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Surgery
Old 03-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Surgery

Believe me when I say it was painless--and I mean 100% painless! I had an earlier eye surgery (macular pucker) that left my eye sore and red for weeks. Not this! They gave me just a tiny bit of versed before the surgery; I was completely lucid during it but felt no anxiety and no pain. Surgery took just a few minutes, then I sat up in a chair in the nurses's station for 1/2 hour drinking coffee and eating muffins. Later in the day I went out to dinner with a friend and took a long walk. There are several drops to take for a week after surgery, but no "recovery" beyond that. I was back to work on a manuscript (I'm an editor) the next day. I'm amazed that there isn't even eye fatigue. So please don't be afraid of cataract surgery!!
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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This sort of surgery sort of freaks me out. I'm not comfortable with sharp pointy things near my eyes. Do they use some sort of drugs to knock you out, or at least tranquilize and block memory (versed?) before surgery? Both DW and I may be facing this in a few years.
They knocked me out completely, which was just fine with me.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #12
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This sort of surgery sort of freaks me out. I'm not comfortable with sharp pointy things near my eyes. Do they use some sort of drugs to knock you out, or at least tranquilize and block memory (versed?) before surgery? Both DW and I may be facing this in a few years.
Pray that you don't ever have a detached retina. I did, and because the detachment had not yet involved the middle of the retina I was able to have a Cryotherapy Pneumatic Retinoplasty. It's a much less invasive procedure then the alternatives, but it is very nightmarish. Only the eye itself is numbed, which requires injections into the eye. Laser is used inside the eye to cryo the edges of the torn retina, and then a needle is inserted in the eye in order to inject a gas bubble that helps to hold the retina tight against the inside wall of the eye.

The entire time I was watching all these pointy things come straight for my open eye I kept telling myself to be calm and stay very still. It was awful.....but worked beautifully and I'm grateful for the technology.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:53 AM   #13
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Marita, Glad to hear you had a positive outcome

I don't have cataracts yet, but have been contemplating whether to investigate getting one of these lense replacement surgeries now for multi-focal to rid myself of glasses or wait until I actually develop cataracts. I suspect at my age (62), lense replacement would make more sense than having my actual lenses reshaped via traditional laser/blade surgeries.

I have T2 diabetes and currently wear progressive lense glasses, and although I have tried contacts in the past, I never could get used to them. While I don't like wearing glasses, I would probably stay with them unless the success rate for lense replacement to achieve 20/20 vision is pretty high.

Also, I was wondering what the post op affects are; do you feel like you are wearing contact lenses with these lense replacements; how long is the healing process and what restrictions do you have during the healing process. I may visit a specialist soon to have myself evaluated.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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Also, I was wondering what the post op affects are; do you feel like you are wearing contact lenses with these lense replacements; how long is the healing process and what restrictions do you have during the healing process. I may visit a specialist soon to have myself evaluated.
After I had cataract surgery on my left eye last April, it took quite a while for things to get back to "normal". When I first got out of surgery my vision was actually much worse - I could only see light and color out of that eye. It cleared slowly over the course of a few days, but after about a week it got slowly worse again due to clouding of the capsule the lens sits in. While this is normal in about 50% of cases it usually doesn't happen for at least 6 months. The fix for that is called a Yag Capsulotomy which is an outpatient procedure that takes about 10 minutes. After having that done in August my eye was much better, and I can even read out of that eye without glasses now. My vision in that eye is now 20/30 corrected, the best it's ever been. I have a standard monofocal lens, not one of the newfangled fancy ones.

As far as restrictions, I was able to drive a few days after the surgery, and was restricted from doing any heavy lifting for about two weeks. I had many drops to use on varying schedules, and for a few months that eye was very light-sensitive, although that has gotten better over time. I also had some general aches and a "gritty" feeling in that eye for about a week or two.

As far as the lens is concerned it doesn't feel any different than what I had before. It definitely works well though!

Please take the preceding words with a large grain of salt - as usual I am the exception to the rule (story of my medical history, alas!), and most recoveries are nowhere near as involved as mine.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:10 PM   #15
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I LOVED my cataract surgery. No pain and I think they did give me versed. I have no memory of the actual surgery which took less than 30 minutes. I used to have extremely thick glasses, so much do that I had a difficult time buying frames and often had to buy child size frames. Now I never wear glasses, except for occasional reading. Most reading I can do without. It was a miracle to me.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:44 AM   #16
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DFM, there was virtually no recovery period for me, meaning that I was just fine by the next day. You do take a lot of different drops for awhile: I take three drops a number of times a day. I had to return to the doc for a follow up the day after surgery, then a week after surgery (tomorrow), then 3 weeks after surgery. At that point your eyes have "settled" enough to get a new glasses prescription. I had no pain after the surgery and no real "adjustment" period. Alas, my sight is not perfect in that eye due to other issues (myopic degeneration) but it is back to where it was before the cataract: 20/40 corrected. I'm lucky that my other "good" eye is 20/20.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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DaveJ, Ally, Marita, Thanks for sharing your post op experience. I know a pretty highly regarded surgeon in Dallas/Ft Worth area and will at least set up an appointment with him for a general eye health checkup and see what his thoughts are on me being a good candidate for one of these replacement lenses.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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Wow - this cataract stuff is so wild! Replacing lenses, people seeing again!

I've been horribly near-sighted all my life. Except now I get the double whammy of needing reading glasses too.

So, if I make it to my late 70s, I might also finally get perfect vision? Only with old age (and cataracts)? Wow - blows the mind!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:31 PM   #19
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So, if I make it to my late 70s, I might also finally get perfect vision? Only with old age (and cataracts)? Wow - blows the mind!
You might not have to wait that long . I had Cataract surgery in my mid fifties . I love not wearing glasses .
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #20
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I LOVED my cataract surgery. No pain and I think they did give me versed. I have no memory of the actual surgery which took less than 30 minutes.
I had a small dose of Versed but the one thing I remember is seeing bright colors almost like a kaleidoscope . My vision is now 20-20 and the only time I wear glasses is if I am reading for a long period of time .
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