Millions of Americans suffer from vision impairment. Each year, many of them turn to LASIK for vision enhancement. LASIK reshapes the cornea to eliminate imperfections responsible for refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK effectively improves eyesight, but as patients age, they may develop cataracts. Cataracts cloud the eye’s clear lens, blurring vision. Dr. Raul Peña offers cataract surgery to replace the damaged lens and improve vision. Many of Dr. Peña’s Harlingen, TX, patients wonder if they can undergo cataract surgery after LASIK. Here are some considerations regarding cataract surgery after a previous LASIK procedure.
Is It Safe to Undergo Cataract Surgery After LASIK?
Many people are under the impression that it is unsafe to undergo cataract surgery after a previous LASIK procedure, which is false. LASIK and cataract surgery treat different conditions. LASIK addresses refractive errors that cause vision impairment. Cataract surgery eliminates protein buildup that clouds the eye’s naturally clear lens. While LASIK alters the shape of the cornea, it does not prohibit patients from undergoing future eye surgeries or treatments as necessary.
Do I Have to Tell My Doctor About My LASIK Procedure?
While it is safe to undergo cataract surgery after a previous LASIK procedure, communication is vital to treatment success. If patients are undergoing cataract surgery with a doctor other than the one that performed LASIK, they should inform the doctor of their previous procedure. When performing cataract surgery on a previous LASIK patient, Dr. Peña likes to have as much information as possible. To create the best treatment plan, Dr. Peña ideally has the following data:
- Pre-LASIK eye measurements
- Pre-LASIK vision correction prescription
- Post-LASIK eye measurements
- Post-LASIK vision measurement (before cataracts)
Special Considerations for Cataract Surgery After LASIK
The biggest concern when performing cataract surgery for a previous LASIK patient is determining the correct prescription for the intraocular lens (IOL). LASIK changes the shape of the cornea, making it more difficult to determine the right IOL to provide clear eyesight. The wrong IOL could result in blurry, unfocused vision.
To minimize the risk of poor vision after cataract surgery, Dr. Peña takes into consideration a patient’s eye measurements before and after LASIK treatment. Understanding the original shape of the cornea and the shape of the cornea after LASIK allows Dr. Peña to more accurately calculate the correct IOL for each of his Harlingen cataract surgery patients.
What Is The Time Limit Between LASIK and Cataract Surgery?
There is no short or long time limit for when a patient can undergo cataract surgery after a LASIK procedure. As long as the eyes have fully healed from LASIK, it is safe to undergo cataract surgery. However, most patients undergo cataract surgery many years after LASIK because cataracts tend to develop around the age of 40 or after, past the time that many people undergo LASIK treatment.
Contact Our Eye Institute
If you are considering cataract surgery and have questions about how treatment results may be affected by a previous LASIK procedure, Dr. Raul Peña can address your concerns. To schedule an appointment at our Harlingen eye institute, send us a message online at your earliest convenience.