Cataract Surgery: Benefits, Cost, and Recovery - GoodRx (2022)

Key takeaways:

  • Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries across the world.

  • Cataract surgery is very safe. But complications can happen, including corneal swelling, infection, macular edema, and a malpositioned lens.

  • Removing a cataract with cataract surgery can restore your vision.

Cataract Surgery: Benefits, Cost, and Recovery - GoodRx (1)

The lens of your eye is a clear disc that sits behind the pupil. The lens allows you to focus on objects. As you get older, the lens becomes cloudy and can develop into a cataract. And some children are born with cataracts.

Cataracts make it difficult to see. They cause blurred vision, glare, and trouble seeing at night.

If you have a cataract that’s affecting your vision, you may need cataract surgery to remove it. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. and across the world. Ophthalmologists perform about 10 million cataract surgeries every year worldwide.

Let’s take a look at cataract surgery and the most common questions people have as they prepare for surgery.

When do you need to have cataract surgery?

If cataracts are keeping you from doing important things — it’s time to have them removed.

You may need cataract surgery if you:

(Video) Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery?

  • Can’t drive at night because of glare

  • Have trouble seeing even with your prescription glasses

  • Can’t finish work because of low vision

  • Have to skip social functions because of trouble seeing

If you have other eye conditions that affect your retina, like macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, you may need cataract surgery. Cataracts can make your lens so cloudy that it becomes impossible for your ophthalmologist to see your retina during an eye exam. So to check your retinal health, you’ll need to have cataracts removed.

What happens during cataract surgery?

During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist makes small incisions in the eye and removes the lens. They remove the lens through phacoemulsification, a process that uses ultrasound energy to break up the lens so it’s easy to remove.

After removing the lens, they replace it with a clear, artificial lens that stays in your eye for the rest of your life.

Is cataract surgery different from LASIK?

Cataract surgery involves the lens, while LASIK or PRK involves the cornea (the clear outer portion of the eye). Some ophthalmologists use a laser during cataract surgery. Lasers are also part of LASIK and PRK surgery. That’s why the two procedures sometimes get confused.

Is cataract surgery painful?

You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel pain because you’ll receive pain medication (anesthesia).

You have several options for anesthesia during cataract surgery, including:

  • Topical anesthesia with numbing eye drops

  • Local anesthesia, which involves injecting anesthetic medication around the eye

  • Sedation, during which you’ll receive medication through an intravenous (IV) line to relax

Most people do not need general anesthesia for cataract surgery. That means you’ll be awake during surgery, but you should feel comfortable and calm. If you feel pain or start feeling anxious during your surgery, let your ophthalmologist know right away. They can give you additional medication to make sure you’re comfortable.

(Video) Cataract Surgery in 2022 How I Do It.

How long does cataract surgery take?

Cataract surgery can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on your eye health. But you also need to factor in time for speaking to your doctor, receiving medications, and recovering from anesthesia. Your entire visit may take several hours.

Make sure to set up a ride home for after surgery. You probably won’t feel up to driving. And you won’t be allowed to drive if you receive certain types of anesthesia medications.

What do you need to do before cataract surgery?

You’ll need a full eye exam before surgery. You’ll also have tests to figure out which type of artificial lens is best for you.

There are many types of lenses, including standard and premium lenses. Standard lenses are the least expensive and often have fewer side effects. But if you use a standard lens, you’ll have to wear glasses to see close up after surgery if you have presbyopia.

Premium lenses can correct both distance and near vision, which can relieve symptoms of presbyopia. Premium lenses are more expensive and can have higher risk of side effects like glare. Talk to your doctor about your daily activities. They can help you figure out the best option for you.

In addition to picking out your lens, you may need to use eye drops before surgery. You’ll also want to get ready for life after surgery. It’s helpful to review some post-cataract surgery recovery tips before your procedure.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

Every eye heals differently. But in general the recovery period from cataract surgery is short. The good news is that within a few days you’ll be almost back to yourself.

Most people feel back to normal within 1 month, but the full recovery can take up to 3 months.

Do cataracts grow back?

Cataracts do not grow back.

But sometimes a few cells from the top layer of the natural lens can remain after cataract surgery. As these cells grow and divide over time, they develop into a membrane that covers the artificial lens. This is a secondary cataract, or posterior capsular opacification.

If the secondary cataract affects your vision, your doctor may recommend a YAG capsulotomy, a laser procedure to remove it.

Do you need glasses after cataract surgery?

Depending on the type of intraocular lens you choose, you may need glasses after cataract surgery.

If you choose a standard lens, you’ll likely need glasses to either correct for distance or near vision. If you choose a multifocal lens, you may not need glasses unless reading very small print.

Can you see right after cataract surgery?

You may notice that your vision is improved right after surgery. But if you don’t, that’s OK.

(Video) Over 45 and considering LASIK, Lens replacement or Cataract surgery? All you need to know.

Most of the time ophthalmologists recommend that you cover your eye with a patch for a day. After you remove the patch, your vision may take a few days to clear up. But it can take a few weeks for some people.

Even if it takes longer than you expect, rest assured, your vision will be much clearer in the end. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops for you to use after surgery. These drops can help speed up healing so your vision clears faster.

What is the most common complication of cataract surgery?

Secondary cataract is one of the most common complications after cataract surgery. It’s so common that most ophthalmologists don’t refer to it as a complication at all. That’s because it’s almost impossible to guarantee that surgery will remove all lens cells.

Otherwise, the most common complication is macular swelling, or cystoid macular edema. This usually occurs about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Your ophthalmologist may recommend monitoring, eye drops, or injections to help remove this fluid.

The bottom line

Cataracts cause low vision and develop as you age. Cataract surgery can be a life-changing procedure that restores vision. It’s a short, low-risk surgery that removes the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens. Most people recover from cataract surgery very quickly. Complications include secondary cataracts and macular swelling, which your ophthalmologist can treat.


Awasthi, N., et al. (2009). Posterior capsular opacification: A problem reduced but not yet eradicated. Archives of Ophthalmology.

Boyd, K. (2022). What is a posterior capsulotomy? American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Foster, A. (2000). Vision 2020: The cataract challenge. Community Eye Health.

Gurnani, B., et al. (2021). Phacoemulsification. StatPearls.

Pesudovs, K., et al. (2003). Refractive error changes in cortical, nuclear and posterior subcapsular cataracts. British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Randolph, J., et al. (2019). Cataract surgery complications. EyeWiki.

Schein, O. D., et al. (2000). Anesthesia management during cataract surgery: Summary. AHRQ Evidence Report Summaries.

(Video) These 3 People Went To Mexico For Weight-Loss Surgery And Now They Regret It | Megyn Kelly TODAY

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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Cataract Surgery: Benefits, Cost, and Recovery - GoodRx (2)

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What is the cost of lens after cataract surgery? ›

In 2019, the average cost of refractive lens exchange with a standard monofocal IOL implant was $3,783 per eye, according to a large survey of U.S. cataract and refractive surgeons.

What is recovery from cataract surgery like? ›

After surgery, your eye may feel scratchy, sticky, or uncomfortable. It may also water more than usual. Most people see better 1 to 3 days after surgery. But it could take 3 to 10 weeks to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible.

Is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted after cataract surgery? ›

The new lenses inserted during cataract surgery can correct refractive vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia. Nearsightedness is when you have trouble clearly seeing things that are far away. Farsightedness is when you have trouble clearly seeing things that are up close.

How Much Does Medicare pay for cataract surgery in 2022? ›

Under Medicare's 2022 payment structure, the national average for allowed charges for cataract surgery in outpatient hospital units is $2,079 for the facility fee and $548 for the doctor fee for surgery on one eye. Of the $2,627 total, Medicare pays $2,101 and the patient coinsurance is $524.

How long should you wear an eye shield after cataract surgery? ›

use your eye drops as instructed. take it easy for the first 2 to 3 days. use your eye shield at night for at least a week.

Which season is best for cataract surgery? ›

One of the best reasons for scheduling your cataract surgery for wintertime is so that your eyes will be healed and seeing clearly in time for all the natural beauty and outdoor activity that comes with warmer weather.

Do you need glasses after cataract surgery? ›

Because most IOLs used in cataract surgery can only provide clear distance or clear near vision, you will need glasses to correct for whatever the lens doesn't provide. Usually, just one lens in your glasses needs to be updated for the eye that was operated on.

What are the most common problems after cataract surgery? ›

Some immediate complications are a result of having the surgical procedure. These include discomfort, bruising and swelling of the eyelid, increased intraocular pressure, and allergic reaction to the steroid or antibiotic drop. These complications are monitored over time following surgery.

What is the fastest way to recover from cataract surgery? ›

  1. Avoid Irritants At All Costs. By far, the most important thing that you can do to guarantee a speedy recovery after cataract surgery involves avoiding irritants at all costs. ...
  2. Do NOT Touch Your Eyes. ...
  3. Wear Those Sunglasses. ...
  4. Those Follow-Up Appointments Are Essential – It's Time to Act Like It. ...
  5. Rest, Rest and Rest Some More.
Nov 26, 2018

Why can't you drink water before cataract surgery? ›

So why do you need to fast? Fasting before cataract eye surgery reduces the risk of stomach contents/acid going the wrong way down into your lungs while you are asleep. Stomach acid can cause lung damage.

How long after cataract surgery Can I watch TV? ›

You can resume activities like watching TV or shopping after 2-3 days of surgery. You may resume all your routine household activities after a week. Do instill eye drops regularly, as advised by your eye doctor.

What happens if you don't wear sunglasses after cataract surgery? ›

You could even cause your cataracts to return as UV rays are one of the leading causes of cataracts. That's why doctors recommend you wearing sunglasses outside for the first year after your surgery.

How much will cataract surgery improve my vision? ›

While many people will obtain 20/20 vision from their IOL, 30 to 50 percent of people who choose a monofocal IOL will still require corrective lenses after surgery. Schedule a consultation with an eye doctor near you to see if you qualify for surgery.

How long after cataract surgery can you drive? ›

Most patients are able to resume driving 24 hours after cataract surgery.

What is the copay for cataract surgery with Medicare? ›

If you have Medicare, you'll pay 20% or less of the total cataract surgery bill. The surgery may even be free if you have a plan with a $0 outpatient copayment. On average, those who only have Original Medicare are paying about $200 to $800 out of pocket per cataract procedure.

Does Medicare cover cataract surgery 100 %? ›

How much does Medicare cover? Once it's determined by your doctor that surgery is necessary for your cataracts, Medicare will normally cover 80% of the costs. This includes all preoperative and postoperative exams, surgical removal of the cataract, implantation of the new lens, and a pair of eyeglasses or contacts.

Does Medicare pay for eye exams after cataract surgery? ›

Medicare never pays for vision exams (also called refractions), even after cataract surgery. Although Original Medicare doesn't provide vision coverage, it doesn't mean you'll automatically have to pay out of pocket for eye exams and glasses or contacts.

How long do you have to sleep on the opposite side after cataract surgery? ›

Cataract surgery should not affect how you sleep, aside from wearing the protective eye shield to avoid rubbing the eye. Rubbing your eye or even water splashing in your eye can aggravate the chances of infection. You may also want to avoid sleeping on the side of the operated eye for the first 24 hours.

Is it normal to sleep a lot after cataract surgery? ›

After cataract surgery, you'll feel tired and want to rest for the remainder of the day. And if you still feel tired the next day, don't fight the temptation to get more sleep. Go with it. Sleeping a lot is how your body heals itself.

What can you not eat after cataract surgery? ›

High-sugar foods: Confectionery, soft drinks, soft drinks, ... contain a lot of sugar which should be avoided, especially for diabetics because of affecting the retina, slowing down the recovery process. wound healing. Foods high in salt and preservatives: Meats or processed, canned, ...

Do you have to wear sunglasses indoors after cataract surgery? ›

Wear sunglasses outdoors for one week after surgery. It is optional to wear them indoors.

What kind of sunglasses are needed after cataract surgery? ›

When getting sunglasses after cataract surgery, be sure to get ones that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. It would be best if you also got glasses that block light from getting in on the sides of your face. You want to keep sunlight out of your eyes as much as possible while they heal.

Do eyes look different after cataract surgery? ›

Sometimes after cataract surgery, you may find that things start to look cloudy again. It happens because a lens capsule -- the part of your eye that holds your new artificial lens in place -- begins to thicken up. You may hear your doctor call this by its medical name: posterior capsule opacification.

What should you not do before cataract surgery? ›

You may be instructed not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before cataract surgery. Your doctor may also advise you to temporarily stop taking any medication that could increase your risk of bleeding during the procedure.

What happens 1 week after cataract surgery? ›

It's completely normal to experience a little-blurred vision while your eyesight settles for a day or two, or in some cases for a week or two. Some people can require glasses for distance or near vision after cataract surgery but also have the option of laser eye surgery to decrease the need for glasses.

Can you bend your head down after cataract surgery? ›

Immediately after procedure, avoid bending over that brings more pressure to the eyes. Just like with strenuous activity, bending over can cause a rush of blood to your head that interferes with your recovering eyes.

How do you shower after cataract surgery? ›

You can take a shower or bath 24 hours after your surgery. Do not get water or soap in your eye. Keep your eye closed while you shower. Use a clean washcloth every time and normal tap water to clean secretions from your lashes or the corner of your eye.

Can you blink during cataract surgery? ›

Now that you know that blinking during cataract surgery is nothing to worry about, you can take the first step to restore your vision.

Can you brush your teeth before cataract surgery? ›

Yes, it is ok to brush your teeth prior to cataract surgery. If you have been asked to fast prior to the surgery, you should use as little water as possible and try to not drink anything during or after brushing your teeth.

Can I drive 2 days after cataract surgery? ›

Post-surgery, it's common for vision to be blurry for a few days. Many people can drive again within 24 hours. However, it's highly recommended you do not drive until you've seen your eye doctor after the surgery. Your ophthalmologist may recommend you wait a few more days before driving.

Why is my distance vision worse after cataract surgery? ›

The "big 3" potential problems that could permanently worsen vision after cataract/IOL surgery are: 1) infection, 2) an exaggerated inflammatory response, and 3) hemorrhage. Fortunately, these are quite rare nowadays, occurring less than 1% of the time.

What type of lens is best after cataract surgery? ›

If you're comfortable wearing glasses after cataract surgery, a monofocal lens may be the right choice. If you want to avoid wearing distance glasses after cataract surgery and have astigmatism, a toric lens might be appropriate.

What is the newest lens for cataract surgery? ›

The extended depth of focus Vivity lens is one of the most recent advancements in cataract surgery technology and can provide both high quality vision and a wide range of vision. Therefore, it can be a good choice for patients seeking glasses independence for the majority of activities with the fewest side effects.

Which lenses are good for cataract surgery? ›

The most common type of lens used with cataract surgery is a monofocal IOL. It is called monofocal because it has one focusing distance. It is set to focus for close work, medium range or distance vision – chosen depending on your visual needs.

What is the cost of monofocal lens? ›

What is the cost of Monofocal Lens Cataract Surgery ? Monofocal IOL cataract surgery charges can range from Rs 10000 / eye to Rs 68000 / eye.

After cataract surgery, an intraocular lens is placed in your eye to help you see. Several different types of lenses are available, including premium lenses, which can offer added benefits for an out-of-pocket cost. When are premium lenses worth their price tag? Find out with GoodRx.

Cataract surgery involves removing the eye’s clouded natural lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).. As you prepare for cataract surgery , you’ll discuss IOL options with your eye surgeon.. People with astigmatism are likely to need glasses all the time after cataract surgery if they choose standard IOLs.. Premium IOLs are designed to offer some freedom from glasses after cataract surgery.. There are several different types of premium IOLs:. You’ll want to work closely with your eye surgeon to select your IOLs.. Standard IOLs are less expensive, reliable, and don’t come with many side effects — but most people will still need to wear glasses to see clearly at closer distances.. People choose premium IOLs when they:. Keep in mind, premium lenses aren’t the only way to get both near and far focusing power with IOLs.. If you need cataract surgery in both eyes and choose standard lenses, it is sometimes possible to correct one eye to see better at a distance and the other eye to see better up close.. Some IOLs — both standard and premium — are designed to block blue light as it enters your eye.. Since standard and premium IOLs are implanted in the same way, the recovery from cataract surgery is the same no matter what type of IOL you have chosen.. No matter what type of lens you’ve selected, it could take some time for you to adjust to the change.. It’s important to remember that even with the most advanced, premium IOLs, many people still need to use glasses to see their sharpest — especially at very close distances.

During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. That lens is called an intraocular lens (IOL). Learn about the cataract treatment and cataract s

The only way to remove a cataract is with surgery.. During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.. Cataract removal surgery may be done in an outpatient surgery center or in a hospital.. Your eye will be numbed with eye drops or with an injection around the eye.. You may have to use eye drops after surgery.. Like any surgery, cataract surgery carries risks of problems or complications.. Your ophthalmologist will talk with you about the risks and benefits of cataract surgery.. Your vision could become cloudy or blurry weeks, months or years after cataract surgery.. But because it happens after the eye has healed from cataract surgery, some people think of it as a scar.. It also once held your eye’s natural lens (what became the cataract) in place.. Choosing to have cataract surgery before your vision has deteriorated enough will cost more.. Your ophthalmologist can help you learn more about costs of cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is a procedure used to treat cataracts, a progressive condition characterised by the clouding of the lens inside the eye. It involves

Thanks to modern developments in surgical technology, cataract eye surgery is one of the safest and most common eye surgeries performed today.. Due to the ease with which the procedure can be performed, many patients with cataracts go on to undergo cataract surgery.. The procedure begins with the eye doctor applying numbing medication to the eye using eye drops or an eye injection.. The cataract operation involves removing the damaged, clouded lens inside the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL).. There are now many techniques used to remove the damaged lens.. It also lowers the risk of retinal detachment , a common complication of cataract surgery.. The laser technology then fragments the cataract making the damaged lens easier to break up and remove.. Aside from the different techniques for cataract removal, patients can also choose from different types of intraocular lenses as replacements for their natural lenses.. The common type of IOL is called monofocal lens.. To prevent complications after cataract surgery, patients are advised to refrain from strenuous activities and heavy lifting during the first week after the procedure.. New laser treatments, however, can permanently correct after-cataracts.. More serious complications include retinal detachment or the loosening of newly implanted lenses.

This page explains what causes cataracts, the symptoms people with cataracts might experience and how cataracts are treated. Readers can find information about the different procedures and replacement lens options and the factors that contribute to variability in the cost of treatment. This informat...

This information is provided to help people who have cataracts understand what their treatment options are with Vision Eye Institute.. The following payment options are available for cataract and lens exchange surgery, subject to approval.. You will not be able to see what the surgeon is doing to your eye.. Even though cataract surgery is quite safe, operating on both eyes at the same time may increase the risk of serious complications and visual impairment (e.g. if both eyes were to get infected at the same time).. Patients who are very short- or long-sighted also benefit from both eyes being operated on in quick succession, as it is common that their eyes are now significantly unbalanced.. As with any new technology, laser cataract surgery costs more than traditional cataract surgery.

If you need cataract surgery, Medicare may cover most of the cost. However, you may pay deductibles and other out-of-pocket fees.

Some types of Medicare health insurance may cover more than others.. cost of cataract surgery with medicare An estimated cost of cataract surgery may be*:. Medicare pays $781, and your cost is $195.. Medicare pays $1,533 and your cost is $383.. Your cataract surgery may be covered by several parts of your Medicare plan.. Medicare Part A covers inpatient and hospital costs.. Medicare Part B covers outpatient and other medical costs.. If you have Original Medicare, your cataract surgery will be covered under Part B.. Medicare supplement plans (Medigap) cover some costs that Original Medicare does not.. To determine what you may need to pay out-of-pocket for your cataract surgery, you’ll need information from your eye doctor and your Medicare provider.. Cataract surgery is a common procedure that’s covered by Medicare.

The use of the femtosecond laser (FSL) in cataract surgery may represent the largest advancement in the field since the ...

Recent findings There are several significant potential benefits of the FSL in cataract surgery over conventional manual cataract surgery: precise capsulotomy formation, clear corneal and limbal relaxing incision construction, lens fragmentation, and lens softening.. There are significant financial and logistical issues to consider prior to the purchase of a FSL, including the cost of the laser, and charges to patients, and how the laser affects the patient flow in the operating room.. INTRODUCTION The use of the femtosecond laser (FSL) in cataract surgery may prove to be one of the biggest changes in the fields of cataract and refractive surgery in the last several decades.. BENEFITS OF THE FEMTOSECOND LASER Current functions of FSLs produced for cataract surgery include precise circular capsulotomy formation, lens fragmentation, lens softening, anterior penetrating and intrastromal arcuate corneal incisions [limbal relaxing incisions (LRIs)] (Fig.. Fragmentation and softening by the FSL offer many advantages over manual surgery, as pretreatment may allow for reduced instrumentation, movement, and effective phacoemulsification time (EPT) during cataract removal, resulting in increased safety.. Alternatively, the FSL portion could be performed in an independent area or operating room, and then the surgeon could operate on another laser patient or do a manual surgery while the recently lasered patient is getting set up to have the cataract removal.. This study demonstrated that the use of FSL during cataract surgery led to lower EPT compared with manual surgery.. This study showed that a statistically significant lower EPT was seen with the use of the 350 mm grid pattern compared with 500 mm grid softening with the use of FSL (Catalys Precision Laser System, OptiMedica) prior to phacoemulsification and cataract removal.. Sutton G, Bali HJ, Hodge C. Femtosecond cataract surgery: transitioning to & laser cataract surgery.. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery && compared with conventional cataract surgery.

Mar 29 2018 middot the recovery time for cataract surgery is short any soreness and discomfort should disappear within a

Cataract surgery is eye surgery to remove a cloudy lens to improve your vision.. ... cataract surgery alone or cataract surgery with MIGS may be the best option.. Here is a list of activities with the expected laser eye surgery recovery time for each one: Driving: 1-2 days depending on the type of laser eye surgery and your individual recovery time.. Cataract surgery is often performed at the same time as another eye surgery because it is more convenient.. Cataract surgeons who support the idea of SBCS point out that a significant percentage of cataract surgeries in some European countries are performed in this fashion with excellent results and no increased rate of complications.. Also, advantages of same-day cataract surgery on both eyes include fewer office visits, faster recovery of binocular vision for driving ..... Cataract surgery, also called lens replacement surgery, is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called "crystalline lens") that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract, and its replacement with an intraocular lens.Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract, causing impairment or loss of vision... Read on to learn about the recovery process as your eye heals from cataract surgery: Immediately After Cataract Surgery: At the completion of your cataract surgery, a lightweight protective shield will be placed over ....

Immediately sequential bilateral cataract surgery (ISBCS) is a highly contended issue in ophthalmology, mainly due to th...

ABSTRACT Immediately sequential bilateral cataract surgery (ISBCS) is a highly contended issue in ophthalmology, mainly due to the risk of bilateral endophthalmitis and financial penalties that many ophthalmologists face when performing simultaneous cataract surgeries.. both eyes are simultaneously operated on during the same patient visit, versus the standard delayed sequential bilateral cataract surgery (DSBCS), during which patients have two separate operations scheduled over an interval of time for each eye, is an increasingly debatable issue.1–6 The main benefits of ISBCS include increased efficiency, fast rehabilitation and improved quality of life (which are important factors to the elderly cataract patient population), reduced patient visits,1,7 and cost savings for both the health-care system and the patients and their families and/or caretakers.2,8–11 In spite of the International Society of Bilateral Cataract Surgeons (iSBCS) 2009 General Principles of Excellence in ISBCS that support the simultaneous technique on a select patient population,6 the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not endorse simultaneous procedures due to serious complications, such as endophthalmitis and poorer refractive outcomes, that are considered to be associated with the technique.12 As such, DSBCS remains the standard of care in the USA,2 and ophthalmologists face financial penalties for performing ISBCS.1,13 Although the evidence supporting the use of ISBCS is sparse, there have been three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of ISBCS.3–5 A literature review of case series that reported ISBCS also found no increase in the incidence of endophthalmitis when performing ISBCS.1,8 Scientific opinion is thus quite divided on the use of ISBCS.. ISBCS GUIDELINES There are currently two cataract surgery guidelines published by the iSBCS and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists that support the use of ISBCS.6,14 The iSBCS ISBCS guidelines endorse the use of the simultaneous technique by the experienced cataract surgeon with an excellent safety record at an institution with an excellent safety record and low complication rates.6,14 Key to the success of the procedure is that each eye’s operation must be treated as a separate and individual surgery with separate sterilization cycles/routines and instrument trays.. Ocular comorbidities must be managed appropriately prior to surgery and considered very carefully prior to determining patient eligibility at the discretion of the experienced cataract surgeon.4,6 The literature suggests that between one-half and two-thirds of cataract patients may be eligible for ISBCS.7,8 The Royal College of Ophthalmologists supports ISBCS indications for patients who require general anaesthesia, including those with a disability that prevents them from being fully assessed prior to surgery.14 A US study found that ISBCS could have consisted of 48.2% of all cataract surgery cases.2. A university trial in Helsinki, Finland, that evaluated 247 patients undergoing ISBCS versus 257 patients undergoing DSBCS found that the refractive outcomes were similar between groups.4 An earlier RCT in Sweden found both surgeries had similar long-term outcomes in terms of self-reported visual functions.5 Patient satisfaction is also initially higher with ISBCS, given the shorter visual rehabilitation time.3–5 In the Spanish RCT, ISBCS patients reported significantly higher self-perceived visual function scores using the VF-14 questionnaire over patients who had only one eye operated on (P < 0.001).3 However, at 1-year follow up (and after DSBCS patients had both eyes done), there was no difference in patient satisfaction between groups.. for patients and their families/caregivers and for the hospital and the health-care system.2,8–11 A comprehensive cost analysis was done using the data from the RCT in Finland to determine health-care costs for 520 patients and non-health-care costs for 241 patients, which included travel, home care, productivity loss and time.4,8 ISBCS was 1.23 times less costly than DSBCS, with the former saving the patient €449 in health-care costs and €849 when nonhealth-care costs were included.. Cataract surgery volume and eligibility estimates, 2012 Medicare reimbursement schedules, and patient cost data for Western Tennessee (TN) and the whole USA were used to create a model to compare costs between surgical methods.2 The authors estimated a national Medicare savings of US$522 million in 2012 if the health-care system had switched to ISBCS.. Aside from the financial disincentive facing many ophthalmologists, the primary risks of ISBCS involve surgical complications.7 Complications during the first-eye operation will need to first be addressed prior to operating on the second eye, thereby resulting in DSBCS.6,7,11,14 The risk of bilateral post-surgical complications is more serious with ISBCS because bilateral complications, such as endophthalmitis, can result in functional blindness.7,13 It is precisely this risk of bilateral endophthalmitis that is the most common reason that ophthalmologists do not perform ISBCS.19 The incidence of postoperative endophthalmitis following DSBCS varies from 0.028 to 0.3% in Western countries.19–21 Two Western Australian studies retrospectively reviewed cases of endophthalmitis for the time period 1980–2000 and found a higher incidence of endophthalmitis associated with ISBCS.22,23 This association was statically significant in one study for the time period 1990–2000 (P < 0.009), with an overall 20-year incidence rate for both ISBCS and DSBCS equivalent to approximately 0.002%.22 The incidence rates of post-cataract surgery endophthalmitis in the developing world are much more varied and have been associated with the different surgical techniques employed.24–26 Although ophthalmologists in developed countries primarily perform phaco-emulsification (phaco) to extract cataracts, the high cost of surgery is prohibitive to lowincome patients in many less developed countries, who may undergo alternative surgical methods such as extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) and manual small-incision cataract surgery (MSICS).. ISBCS review Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India, a 12-month retrospective cohort study revealed no difference in endophthalmitis rates among surgical techniques, with an overall incidence of 0.04%,25 although previously, ECCE was identified as a major risk factor of endophthalmitis.26 In China, the incidence of endophthalmitis ranges between 0.01 and 0.06%.27–29 In Africa, incidence varies the most from 0.0% reported in Tanzania30 to 2.9% in Uganda.31 The European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) performed an RCT in 24 ophthalmology units throughout Europe to evaluate the effect of intracameral cefuroxime injection and perioperative levofloxacin eye drops on the postsurgical incidence of endophthalmitis in 13 689 bilateral cataract patients.21 The study was terminated early due to the very clear beneficial effect of intracameral antibiotics applied before surgery, which resulted in an endophthalmitis incidence rate approximately five times less in the group treated versus the placebo group.. In spite of the promising results by the ESCRS in decreasing endophthalmitis incidence, many ophthalmologists still risk malpractice costs from bilateral endophthalmitis resulting from performing ISBCS.32 Other risks to the patient include a longer recovery period due to cystoid macular oedema, prolonged corneal oedema or anterior chamber inflammation.32 There is also the risk of decreased satisfaction resulting from the lack of a reliable method to determine which IOL is preferred and tolerated by the patient prior to the first-eye operation.. As such, with ISBCS, the inability to tailor the IOL choice, as well as the IOL power for the second eye, is a disadvantage, with the latter issue highly debatable concerning ISBCS and worthy of further discussion.32 Studies in recent years have used partial coherence interferometry to explore whether or not the post-cataract surgery refractive outcomes of the first and second eyes are related.33–38 The IOL power is determined by measuring the axial length, corneal curvature and anterior chamber depth (ACD) of the eye,35,37 with the final measurement serving as the main source of calculation error.37 The calculation has been improved by advances in IOL manufactures, biometrics and IOL power formulas.35,37 Jabbour et al.33 performed the first study that attempted to predict refractive outcomes using the IOL power, based on adjustment for the full first-eye error, and they did not find that they could adjust IOL power in the second eye to improve prediction accuracy.

In 2017 the average basic laser cataract surgery cost in the U.S. ranged from $3,600 to $6,000 per eye, if you paid everything yourself. For an advanced technology lens, which corrects astigmatism, there's usually an additional $500 or $1,000 cost per eye.Apr 17, 2018

Cost of Laser Cataract Surgery.. But does Medicare cover laser cataract surgery?. Cataract surgery is a surgical eye operation performed by an ophthalmologist to remove your eye’s lens when it is cloudy.. If you prefer laser cataract surgery, then your insurance company generally pays its standard cataract surgery amount, but you would pay an additional amount “out of pocket” to cover the increased costs associated with the cataract surgery laser.. The cost estimate reflects a standard cataract surgery procedure not covered by private insurance or Medicare, both of which could offset the out-of-pocket expense significantly.. Since cataract surgery is considered a medically necessary procedure, the cost of cataract surgery is largely covered by private insurance or Medicare, the latter of which covers most patients.. Basically, "out-of-pocket" expenses for cataract surgery are those costs that are not covered by Medicare or private medical insurance, usually because they're for procedures or products that aren't considered medically necessary by the insurance carrier.. The surgeon may use the laser to make the corneal incision and the opening in the capsule.. Laser cataract surgery is not covered by most insurance plans.. It costs more than traditional cataract surgery as well.. Using a laser allows the surgeon to make precise incisions in less time.. In some cases, the laser can provide more correction than traditional surgery.


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