Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cataract Surgery & Fuch's Dystrophy

Question: My husband had failed cataract surgery due to his taking Flomax and having Fuch's corneal dystrophy. He now needs to have cataract surgery again, together with a cornea transplant. I would appreciate some comment on whether he should have both cataract surgery and cornea transplant done at the same time?

Answer: It is not obvious in what timeframe your husband had the previous Cataract Surgery in which there was an unsuccessful result due to Flomax and the presumed complications of Cataract Surgery this medication causes as well as having Fuch's Dystrophy. For the most part, today knowing in advance that a patient is or has been taking Flomax allows the Cataract Surgeon to plan and make adjustments to the surgical plan that typically reduce the chances of complications. In addition, for many patients with Fuch's Dystrophy a less invasive type of corneal transplant called Decemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty ( DSEK) can be a good option with a shortened recover time and an excellent visual outcome. There are many Corneal Specialists who are Cataract Surgeons who perform these combined procedures as a matter of course. While a combined procedure is the likely best path, whether to proceed with a combined procedure is really a decision for the Corneal & Cataract Surgeon as it can depend on the stage of the Fuch's Dystrophy as well as the stage of the Cataract formation. You should really follow the advice of your doctor and if you are uncomfortable it is always appropropriate to seek a second opinion.

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