The selection of cataract surgeons

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Most cataract surgeons can deal with common types of cataracts, such as removing a clouding lens and replacing it with a standard intraocular lens (IOL). What the patient should pay attention to are the types of IOLs and their prices. Generally speaking, there are mainly two types of intraocular lenses: standard single-vision lenses and multifocal lenses. Both of them can be used to replace the blurry lens during a cataract surgery. The important point is that these two types of artificial lenses differ greatly in terms of price and functionality. Choosing a qualified surgeon is a primary task whichever surgery the patient determines to receive.

The downside and upside of cataract surgery using multifocal IOLs

A basic point is that the implantation of a multifocal IOL will cost a patient much more, and demands more expertise from the surgeon. The extra fee for a multifocal IOL may reach as high as $2,500, which is not covered by Medicare and a majority of insurance plans. On the other hand, benefits brought by multifocal IOLs lie in that they can restore clear vision at multiple distances: near vision, intermediate vision and distance vision. Many physical and optical factors may exclude a person as a good candidate for multifocal IOL implantation.

How to choose a surgeon for multifocal IOL implantation

The selection of surgeons for a multifocal IOL implantation features more complexity. The first problem that should be aware of is the type or types of multifocal IOLs that the target surgeon can deal with. Currently, there are four brands of FDA-approved multifocal IOLs: IQ ReSTOR, ReZoom, Tecnis Multifocal and Crystalens. All of them require different procedures, expertise and also have slightly different visual outcomes. Patients should never believe in a surgeon who guarantees a perfect vision recovery. Qualified surgeons will inform his patients about potential risks and complications and make their expectations realistic. This is very important since no IOL can guarantee perfect vision correction. The surgeon may also advise the patient to take an additional procedure for astigmatism correction.

How to evaluate a surgeon’s credibility for multifocal IOL surgery

The surgeon’s credibility for a multifocal IOL surgery is critical, since most of the standard cataract surgeons are unable to insert a multifocal IOL. Some organizations offer validation information of cataract surgeons, such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the National Practitioner Data Band. To be honest, a standard surgery with single-vision IOLs is enough for the majority of cataract patients. A standard cataract surgery provides promising distance vision.

Basic points of standard cataract surgery using single-vision IOLs

A standard cataract surgery also calls for enough attention. There are many aspects the patient should ask his or her friends and relatives for possible reviews from their experiences. Important problems include the surgeon’s courtesy, detailed billing, follow-up care and the most importantly, visual outcome. It is also possible to get personal recommendation for an optometrist or ophthalmologist who has diagnosed the disease. Once the patient has made a primary choice of a certain surgeon, it is still a necessity to consult his or her staff some issues directly: the number of procedures the surgeon has succeeded, eye infection rate and the IOL type etc. Of course, some information is available from their handouts.