- 1 What is cataract?
- 2 How is cataract surgery performed?
- 3 How to choose the best doctor for cataract surgery?
- 4 After finding the best doctor for cataract surgery, is that enough?
- 5 Risks of cataract surgery
- 6 How to prepare for surgery?
- 7 What to expect after cataract surgery?
- 8 Magrabi’s advice
Cataract is a very common eye disease that affects many people above the age of 50 years. Its most common symptom is cloudy vision.
What is cataract?
Cataract is the clouding of the intraocular lens. Our lens is the main focal power of the eye. It is made of certain proteins that get clumped and clouded by aging and other factors. These changes cause the lens to lose its focusing power and its clarity making normal vision difficult and cloudy.
Cataract is rarely treated medically, especially when it progresses into total cloudiness that may cause vision loss. The best line of treatment of cataract is surgery, that is why choosing the best doctor for cataract surgery is essential and requires knowledge of the best criteria to choose upon.
How is cataract surgery performed?
The main concept behind most cataract surgery is to first remove the cloudy lens then replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The choice of how to remove the lens and which IOL to use as a replacement depends solely on your eye surgeon.
That’s why finding the best doctor for cataract surgery is very important.
How to choose the best doctor for cataract surgery?
- Usually, the first doctor you meet when you complain of cataract’s symptoms is your ophthalmologist. This makes choosing your eye surgeon an easier step, why? Because it is common in the middle east that your ophthalmologist has enough experience to perform eye surgeries including cataract surgery.
- If your ophthalmologist recommends another doctor then it is best to follow his/her advice, because what is better than a doctor recommended by a fellow doctor of the same specialty.
- If there is no special recommendation or you want to go directly to an eye surgeon then check with your family and friends who underwent cataract surgery. Their experiences with a certain doctor and a certain center can be very insightful.
- You can also go online and search for the best doctor for cataract surgery and according to their ratings and feedback, you can choose what suits you. For example, a 5 stars doctor in a near neighborhood is much better than another 5 starts doctor in a far one.
After finding the best doctor for cataract surgery, is that enough?
When you find the doctor that was recommended by many patients, that doesn’t mean at all that you have to commit to him/her. There are other questions that you should ask when you meet your doctor that could help you determine if this doctor is good for you. These questions and factors include:
Do you feel comfortable with him/her?
Being able to communicate with your doctor concerning the language and the background can help your treatment process especially follow up move huge steps towards recovery. The last thing we need is a miscommunication in surgery. This comfort and easy communication should extend to the center/office staff too. Being treated professionally and politely by the office staff is a crucial factor in choosing your doctor.
Did your doctor provide you with all the necessary information?
Your doctor should be able to give you enough information about the procedure, its steps, its prognosis and benefits, its possible side effects and its final cost. An honest surgeon will never be able to guarantee a 100% vision after the surgery, he should always tell you that there is at least a 1% chance of you needing an eyeglass after surgery. Even in some cases, it may require follow-up surgery (aka enhancement surgery). This surgery comes with an extra cost and must be considered at the beginning of the consultation. Even the type of IOL to be used should be discussed before surgery.
Is the center/hospital clean enough?
Another important factor is the cleanness of the center. Sterilization of all equipment and disposables is an essential step in the success of the surgery and preventing side effects.
Can you ask for a second opinion?
If for any reason you didn’t feel comfortable with the recommended doctor, you can always ask for a second opinion elsewhere as cataract is not an emergency surgery and you can take your time before choosing the best doctor for you.
Risks of cataract surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries in ophthalmology and of the least complications. But if your doctor is honest enough with you, then he will tell you about the risks and side effects that may occur in surgery or directly afterward. These risks include:
- Inflammation and/or infection of any part of the eye.
- Intraocular Bleeding.
- Swelling and/or Drooping of the eyelid
- Dislocation of the artificial lens
- Secondary eye diseases to cataract surgery that include:
- Retinal detachment
- Secondary cataract
- Loss of vision
How to prepare for surgery?
Your doctor should also give you the proper information about how to prepare for surgery and avoid side effects. Preparations and precautions include:
- Avoid eating or drinking 12 hours prior to surgery.
- Stop taking certain medications especially blood thinners like Aspirin at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
- If you take any other medications you must inform your doctor as they may interfere with your postsurgical drugs.
- Your doctor may prescribe certain antibiotic eye drops a few days before the surgery.
- After the surgery, make sure you have someone to help you go home and finish your chores as you may not be able to perform them for a few days.
- Limit your daily routine, avoid sports and tiresome activities for at least a week after surgery.
- If you feel any pain, if you bleed or notice any uncomfortable change in your eyes, call your doctor immediately.
What to expect after cataract surgery?
- Your vision may remain blurry for a few days.
- Don’t rub your eyes.
- Colors will become vibrant as you are now seeing through a new clear lens.
- Itching and discomfort are common for a few days if you feel them more than a week then visit your doctor as soon as possible.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions thoroughly especially using the prescribed eye drops and/or wearing the protective eye patch.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest eye surgeries. But it is essential that you choose the best doctor to perform it. Trust, expertise, professionality, and cleanness are very important factors that can help you chose the best eye surgeon. We are proud of Magrabi hospitals and centers that we have a specialized unit in cataract surgery that is overseen by the most experienced doctors in the middle east. Always choose accredited hospitals like Magrabi