Cataract Surgery FAQ

Patients’ doubts

Select from the list below any questions you have so that the answer is shown. If your question is not included in the list, you may contact us by phone or by filling out this form.


FAQ BEFORE SURGERY

Cataract surgery is undergone when vision loss limits the patient’s everyday activities.

This usually occurs when the patient has lost approximately 50% of visual acuity (even sooner in some cases). From this point onwards people experience significant difficulties with driving and reading.

No. Cataracts are usually linked to aging and involve an unstoppable and continuous process, being surgery the only effective treatment for it.

Yes. The refraction power of the intraocular lens implanted to replace the crystalline lens will be precisely calculated so that it can correct these refractive errors too.

Yes. There are various techniques which can be carried out during cataract surgery in order to correct astigmatism. These include limbal or arcuate relaxing incisions, or the use of toric lenses. Results are not as predictable as those obtained when correcting myopia or hyperopia, but still astigmatism is greatly reduced.

This will depend on the rest of the eye’s structures’ conditions. Visual prognosis after surgery will be estimated in the preoperative study.

A healthy eye with 100% visual acuity which experiences vision loss exclusively because of cataracts, will regain 100% vision after surgery. However, if other pathologies such as retinal pathologies limit vision to 60% and further vision is lost due to cataracts, surgery will only be able to recover the initial 60% vision.

The type of intraocular lens implanted depends on the patient’s necessities and daily activities.

  • Monofocal IOL: It provides distance vision, but the patient will require glasses for reading.
  • Multifocal IOL: It provides distance and near vision, not needing the patient his/her glasses except when reading over long periods of time, carrying out precision work, under low illumination conditions or when using computers.
  • Toric IOL: Used in cases where astigmatism also needs to be corrected.

On a general basis, health insurance companies cover monofocal intraocular lens. In case this type of lens is the most appropriate, the patient will not have incurred any cost.

Exceptionally, multifocal and toric intraocular lens are covered by health insurance companies, but usually the patient has to pay the difference between monofocal and multifocal or toric IOLs.

Yes. Nowadays, intraocular lenses are designed and manufactured with special materials that guarantee the IOL will not need replacement.

The family doctor will decide the medical leave the patient must take, according to the ophthalmologist’s medical report, which will vary depending on several factors such as if both eyes have been operated or only one at a time.

  1. Regular activity can be done until surgery date.
  2. The days before surgery, the patient will put specific eye drops to prepare the eye for the surgery.
  3. Sign informed consent.
  4. On the day of surgery:
    1. Gently clean eyelids using special lid wipes.
    2. Put dilating eye drops one hour before surgery.
    3. You can take sedating drugs.
    4. Do not put on makeup or face creams.
    5. Come with someone to the clinic and bring with you the eye drops the ophthalmologist prescribes.

FAQ AFTER SURGERY

  1. Put the eye drops the ophthalmologist prescribes.
  2. Avoid physical efforts. You can walk and watch television.
  3. If overflow tearing, wipe away tears avoiding contact with the eye, and do not reuse the paper tissue.
  4. Use sunglasses to protect the eye from solar light, wind, dust and other particles which may enter the eye.
  5. Go to the postoperative checkup with the person who is going to be with you during your recovery so that he/she can be given brief instructions.

DURING THE FIRST WEEK:

  • Use sunglasses to go out.
  • Sleep on the side of the operated eye or on your back.

AVOID:

  • Physical effort.
  • Squatting or kneeling, as getting up is considered physical effort.
  • Doing sudden movements with your head.
  • Putting makeup on.

Pain, eye redness or vision loss. In the postoperative indications document other more specific symptoms are included.

The same day after surgery or the next day, a postoperative checkup will be carried out by the ophthalmologist to make sure everything is alright.

It is completely normal to feel a gritty sensation, see halos and glare (especially at night), or have a hazy vision for a few days.

Cataract surgery’s main objective is to restore the patient’s vision. In order to do so, the crystalline lens is replaced by a high technology intraocular lens. Its refraction power is personalized for each patient taking into account various factors. However, this calculation is never 100% accurate in cataract surgery and, statistically, 90% of patients will have residual error +/-1.00.

Presbyopia is the loss of the eye’s accommodative capacity or focusing ability, which occurs generally after the age of 40. This is important in order to switch from near to distance vision. Patients who have undergone cataract surgery, do not have this accommodative capacity and will therefore need optical correction (glasses) for near vision. In case of having a multifocal intraocular lens implanted, optimal near and distance vision will be achieved and glasses will only be needed in specific situations.

In case of multifocal intraocular lens implant, you may use your reading glasses even though they do not have the precise refraction power you need. We will determine the optical correction you need one month after cataract surgery so that your glasses’ refraction power can be corrected.

Near, distance, bifocal or progressive glasses may be used according to each patient’s specific needs. However, it must be taken into account that after cataract surgery, it is slightly more difficult to adapt to progressive lenses.

Nowadays, high technology intraocular lenses include a fixation system which ensures high stability, being very unlikely for them to move.

No. Once the crystalline lens is removed, a cataract cannot form on the implanted intraocular lens.

Approximately in 1 out of 4 patients, the capsule where the intraocular lens is implanted undergoes a gradual clouding as a semitransparent film is formed by a group of cells. Several months are required for it to appear (if it does) and it is called after cataract or posterior capsular opacity.

If this is the case, Neodymium:YAG laser will be used to eliminate this cloudy effect. It is a quick, outpatient, painless procedure.


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