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Cataract surgery after having had Lasik surgery - is it safe and does it work and do you recommend Toric IOL's?

By Anonymous October 22, 2011 - 12:50pm
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Hi Michelle,

I read about you and your wonderful company in the Arizona Republic. Thank you for helping all women.

My question is this: I had lasik surgery in 2003 and now need cataract surgery. I am quite concerned about having this surgery as I have been told that cataract surgery after lasik surgery is riskier and can be problematic. My doctor also wants to put Toric lenses in as well, which will cost me out of pocket over $4000.00 which my insurance does not cover.

I am not opposed to the cost if it will really help and give me better vision.

I do not need to have 20/20 vision, but I would like to be able to not have to wear glasses all the time.

I do not mind wearing glasses for driving, reading, watching tv, movies.

I do not want to have to wear glasses eating dinner, going shopping, having a conversation with my family.

Currently I do not have to wear glasses all the time, but my night vision is getting worse.

I went to a another doctor in Phoenix who is considered a specialist. He is extremely conservative and said I should not have the Toric lenses or any other extra lenses put in. He said after the surgery I will need to wear glasses all the time to be able to focus.

I spoke to my doctor about this and he said that the other doctor is an excellent doctor who does not do lasik and is very conservative but my doc feels I paid for the lasik to have vision without glasses and I would not be happy without the extra Toric lenses. My doctor has an excellent reputation and I trust him.

However, in my occupation I have done lots of research, and I know doctors can be well meaning, but it is best for me to do the extra research so that I can feel comfortable and not anxious.

In the meantime I have called other centers that do lasik and cataract surgery and they do believe in the extra lenses to make my vision better.

Can your experts and other women who have had this surgery help me with this decision?

1. Should I wait another year to see if better, safer lenses come out, if that is on the horizon?.

2. What has been your expert's and patient's experience with doing cataract surgery after lasik? Have they been successful?

3. Have they been successful with Toric lenses to correct astigmatism with the cataract surgery? I do know that I will have to wear reader glasses when reading.

Additionally I should mention that my doctor does have all my records from the lasik surgery which is helpful, but I have learned that once you have had lasik, exact measurements cannot be done.

Thank you for your help with this matter.

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Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your post and Welcome to EmpowHER!

Patients who have had Lasik should know that obtaining precise measurements for their lens implants can be more difficult which means that the post-operative refractive outcome is less than certain than with Primary Cataract Surgery. The fact that your doctor has your Lasik records will be extremely beneficial for your cataract surgery for measurements.

As far as whether or not to use the Toric lenses, this is a decision left up to you. Although you can use glasses after your cataract surgery, your doctor may be concerned that this will be a big change for your considering you did pay for Lasik to avoid having to wear glasses all the time and once you have had cataract surgery, your vision will not be what you have grown used to for the past three years. I am sure your doctor will respect your decision either way and if you change your mind you can always ask for the Toric lenses if the more conservative method doesn't quite work as well as you would have liked it to.

Best Wishes,


October 22, 2011 - 1:11pm
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