Friday, October 11, 2013

LASIK after Cataract Surgery-Should I Have to Pay?

Question: I had cataract surgery for the left eye a month ago with a lens implant. However, my vision is still no better, if not worse than before surgery.  The cataract surgeon said this was due to a technical miscalculation of the lens strength and might necessitate repeating the procedure, or having the LASIKsurgeon do a correction, as I had LASIK surgery 14 years ago. ( There were no problems for the cataract surgery of my right eye from 2 years ago). My question is, should the fees for surgery correction be waived, as I already paid almost $3000 for the new lens implant which didn't achieve the goal? 
Answer: Patients who have previously had any type of corneal surgery-especially LASIK-require meticulous advanced technology imaging and calculations in order to have precise lens implant power calculations. Even in the most perfect measurement situations, there is often induced calculation error as a result of the previous LASIK surgery and corneal curvature and thickness changes that have been made. Thus, just because you had a relatively uneventful first eye cataract surgery and lens implant operation, it is still not unexpected to experience calculation difficulties. In general there are two possible surgical approaches to correct residual refractive errors when the lens implant is not providing the targeted refractive outcome-LASIK or a Lens Implant Exchange. You do not indicate whether you are overcorrected or undercorrected and we do not know whether your cornea has sufficient tissue and ocular surface health to withstand another LASIK procedure-thus you may or may not be able to have LASIK. Depending on whether your cataract surgery was otherwise uneventful, a lens implant exchange might be a better option. This will really depend on the general condition of your eye. In either case, it would be important to have a thorough examination and consultation and then follow the recommendation of your cataract surgeon. You, or your insurance, should expect to pay for either procedure. Surgery-especially in previously operated eyes-does not come with a guarantee.

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 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 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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