Are there any special considerations for people with cataracts and getting lasik surgery?

Before undergoing cataract surgery, patients should select an intraocular lens. This is a relatively simple process among patients with cataracts who have not previously undergone LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures. However, for former LASIK patients, this process requires a few additional steps. In addition to taking eye measurements, the cataract surgeon will need to consult a record of the patient's eye prescription and of the curvature of the cornea, both before and after LASIK surgery.

This information is crucial for selecting the most appropriate lens. Those who are not in good general health. Certain medical conditions can affect how the body heals after surgery. Patients with autoimmune diseases are not good candidates for LASIK.

Many autoimmune conditions cause dry eye syndrome. A dry eye may not heal well and has a higher risk of infection after LASIK surgery. Other conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, or cataracts, often affect LASIK results. Having dry eye syndrome is often a disqualifying factor for Lasik surgery.

A person with dry eyes has a higher risk of significant discomfort after LASIK surgery and a possible worsening of dry eye symptoms. Having dry eyes can also delay proper healing. This doesn't mean that a person with dry eyes can't have LASIK surgery. Your healthcare provider will examine you to determine the severity of your dry eye condition.

Sometimes, patients are given special medications for dry eye before LASIK eye surgery. Certain procedures, such as spot occlusion, can be performed to alleviate the dry eye condition and minimize unwanted symptoms. In addition, this green light for cataract surgery with post-refractive correction is not reserved solely for LASIK (that's the question I ask myself most often). Many of your former patients with laser vision correction are curious to know if it's possible or even necessary to have cataract surgery after LASIK.

Cataracts usually form over time, so many former LASIK patients end up having cataract surgery later in life. For those of you looking for a short and sweet answer, the simple answer is “yes, you can have cataract surgery if you've already had LASIK.” Medications given for dilation and after LASIK surgery may be absorbed through the mucous membranes, potentially harming the fetus. LASIK makes it more difficult to assess the need for surgery, since the side effects of LASIK and the symptoms of cataracts are similar. The refractive outcome of cataract surgery generally stabilizes within one to two weeks if you haven't undergone LASIK.

Premium intraocular lenses can be fully customized to correct any refractive errors and potentially eliminate the need for a procedure such as LASIK after cataract surgery. Linda Vu will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have regarding LASIK or cataract surgery.

Bessie Taffer
Bessie Taffer

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