Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cataracts with Astigmatism

Question: I have cataracts and astigmatism in both eyes. I have heard there is a procedure that can fix both. I am 65 and have health insurance. How much should I expect to pay after insurance pays?  What is the success rate of this procedure?

Answer: If you have cataracts and astigmatism, and are in need of cataract surgery there are actually two ways to correct the astigmatism as part of the cataract surgery procedure. One way is to use an astigmatism correcting toric lens implant and the other is to have Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI). Most insurances, as well as Medicare do not pay for astigmatism correction and ask the cataract surgeon to charge for the incremental cost of the toric lens implant or the LRI procedure. In order to get the best results your cataract surgeon will need to take additional measurements that might include a corneal topography measurement, corneal thickness measurement, aberrometry and ocular coherence tomography-most or all of which should be part of the additional fee charged for the astigmatism correction regardless of which method is chosen. 

Which method is better in your particular case can only be determined by the cataract surgeon after your examination and consultation as it may depend on the degree and orientation of the astigmatism correction you require as well as other factors regarding the health and stability of your cornea. Further, it is not possible to tell you what the out of pocket costs might be as they vary by cataract surgeon, geography and procedure as well as by your insurance co-pay ad deductible allowances as well. The best thing to do is schedule an eye exam and consultation with a cataract surgeon and they should be able to advise you of the scope of options and the fees involved.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on aboutcataractsurgery.com is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of aboutcataractsurgery.com is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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