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Questions To Ask Your Cataract Surgeon

When evaluating surgeons to perform your cataract surgery

The journalist, Richard A. Knox, wrote the following questions for patients anticipating cataract surgery to ask their ophthalmologist. The questions were published in Boston and New York newspapers.

How many cataract procedures do you perform yearly? (should probably be more than 150).

Do you use a minimal incision (3 mm or less), phacoemulsification and foldable intraocular lens implant?

If so, what proportion of your total cataract operations are "sutureless" (or sometimes one-suture) procedures? (should be well over 50%).

If I am not a candidate for a small incision, why not?

What is your surgical complication rate, and what is the risk of the most important complications?

What portion of your cataract patients need only reading glasses after recovery? (it should be a majority, even over 90%, some specialists say).

How long do you suspect my recovery will take? How soon can I be fitted for a new permanent prescription for any glasses that I will need? (If the answer is "several months", ask about an alternative offering faster recovery with equal results).

What is the risk that the lens capsule might become clouded after several years? If this happens, do you perform a laser procedure to correct it, or refer me to someone who does?

If I should have new or worse astigmatism after surgery, do you perform astigmatic keratotomy to reduce it or would you refer me to someone who is familiar with the procedure?

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