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Old 01-07-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,858 posts, read 61,715,341 times
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For those of you have yet to undergo a cataract removal, I want to say that it was by far the easiest thing I have ever had done to me! And I have had a lot of procedures and operations. So I thought I would explain in detail because if we live long enough, I think we all will get cataracts,

I started 2 days before the surgery with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops, 4x day. On the morning of surgery, I had an IV placed for conscious sedation. I remember them saying "this may sting a bit" and then "you're finished." My eye still does not hurt. I woke up with a shield taped over my eye. It had a lattice in the middle so I could see out of that eye. I wore it until this morning and I have to wear it at night for a week, to keep myself - or a cat - from rubbing at my eye. I was some what drowsy from the sedation. The procedure itself took about 20 min.

The surgeon - and I would only have an ophthalmologist do it - makes a 3 mm. cut at the edge of your eye and inserts an ultrasound probe with vacuum-assist. They emulsify the lens with the cataract and suck it out. Then they inset an implant which has been calibrated to correct your vision. (I spent about an hour at his office on Monday to have my eye measured)

I could immediately see very clearly out of that eye. In fact, last night I watched TV without my glasses. I saw the surgeon this morning and he was quite pleased with the result. My eyesight was checked and it is now 20/30 in that eye! Amazing to me as I think it has always been around 20/70 or so.

At 3 weeks, I will get a new prescription for my glasses as that side is now wrong. I am not wearing glasses except when I drive (for liability reasons).

I am so pleased I had this done and I wanted to allay any fears someone might have if they get to the point of needing it. I have known for some years that I was developing cataracts - both my parents had the surgery - and was just waiting for it to get bad enough to justify the cost to Medicare. I asked about the cost - for his fee, the facility fee, and the anesthesiologist's fee, the total is $4-5,000. Of course, with Medicare and a supplement, I pay nothing!
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
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My Mom is looking at this soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing. I know some great cataract surgeons personally who have described the procedure to me in detail. Really an amazing operation!

Did you get Crystalens by any chance? (That only applies if you needed bifocals or reading glasses before you got the surgery.)
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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I don't know - I did have bifocals, Varilux.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 01-09-2011 at 11:56 PM..
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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I've had cataract operations in both my eyes. The first time around I was scared to death at the thought of being awake and watching the surgeon cut my eye. So I put it off until I was blind in my right eye.

Since then I've also had the same procedure done on my left eye... Now can see without seeing stars when I look at a light, no cloudiness and have 20/20 vision.

A couple of things....

1. I worried over nothing and kicked myself for not having the operation in my right eye done when I was first diagnosed.... When my left eye was diagnosed I scheduled the surgery ASAP.

2. I wish someone had told me first (not that it would have made a difference) that my vision would be fixed... I could either see good closeup -or- far away, not both. I picked far away and without reading glasses can't see crap close up. Eh, small price to pay with the reading glasses.

As SouthernBelle says, piece-of-cake!

~smile~ There was a funny thing.... first time I went to the surgeons office after looking around the waiting room I realized I was the youngest person there (was 48).
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,251 posts, read 40,317,207 times
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Not enough money in the world to convince my reflexes to relax long enough for a surgeon to get a scalpel that close to my eyeball. I had my vision tested and there was a *virtual* probe that created the illusion of something coming closer and closer to my pupil, and I couldn't handle it.

It's not even a fear, really. It's just a reflex. I can stick my own finger in my eye to wipe off a speck of dust. But the moment someone or something else gets too close, my head jerks.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,858 posts, read 61,715,341 times
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You get a ton of eye drops before the IV anesthetic, the first of which deadened my eye. Since I don't remember it, I can only tell you they said I would be told to look at the light. I think you would be fine - they do this all the time with lots of skittish people.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:29 PM
 
15,921 posts, read 18,814,683 times
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As Southernbelle says, they give you stuff that deadens the eye.

They gave me some type of drug that affected my short term memory. I remember *nothing* of the operation.. In fact I remember almost nothing of the entire day(s).....

~smile~ I am like you Anon, I am close to paranoid about anything close to my eyes.

I will say I can now play catch with my grandkids and have my depth perception back.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:22 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 11,618,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
I don't know - I did have bifocals, Varilux.
Did the cataract surgery eliminate your need for bifocals? If so, can you read up close with both eyes, one at a time?
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:29 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 11,618,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
2. I wish someone had told me first (not that it would have made a difference) that my vision would be fixed... I could either see good closeup -or- far away, not both. I picked far away and without reading glasses can't see crap close up. Eh, small price to pay with the reading glasses.
I wish they had told you about Crystalens, which is an Intraocular Lens (IOL, the thing they put in your eye to replace the cataract) that allows you to read up close, far away, and everywhere in between. In other words, while fixing your cataract, it also eliminates your need for reading glasses or bifocals completely. It's different from monovision in that you can see close up and far away out of the same eye, even if the other eye is closed/uncorrected. In other words, unlike monovision, it doesn't depend on your brain's ability to successfully combine your eyes' images. Instead it just imitates a younger lens that can change shape to provide a clear image up close, far away, and everywhere in between.
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