I was reading an article this past week about the 5 questions you should be asking before having Cataract surgery. I clipped sections below that I felt were especially important.
1) Do I really need surgery? This is especially true for the most common type of eye surgery, cataract surgery. The cataract should come out when you (the patient) feel you are having problems, not because your doctor wants to do surgery.
First, your doctor should do a “glare” test – with a bright light – before determining the need for surgery.
2) Do you keep surgical statistics and if so, what are they? Eye surgery is the safest surgery there is. Your surgeon should be able to tell you how many cases he has performed, what percent of those have had a complication (it should be less than 2%), and what percent required a different lens due to complications (it should be less than 1%).
3) Do you use the support of an anesthesiology team during the surgery? If your doctor says no, I’d go elsewhere. The last thing you want is a problem with your medication, heart, or breathing while your surgeon is working inside your eyeball.
4) Do you use antibiotics before and after surgery? Make sure your doctor uses antibiotics before and after surgery. A regimen of three days before surgery and a week or two afterward is the minimum. The worst infection you can get is one in the eye after cataract surgery – it’s a blinding infection. But it’s almost impossible to get if you take antibiotics.
5) How do you numb my eye? The answer might be “topical” or a “nerve block.” Topical means simply using eye drops on top and a little anesthetic inside. The nerve block requires a needle to inject anesthetic around the eye.
If your surgeon is up-to-date on his technique and skills, he has no reason to be sticking needles around your eye for surgery.
It’s your eyes, make sure you have asked the right questions.