Hi folks. This is doctor Khanna, your laser eye man. Coming to you with some new information. Today, I am going to talk to you about the 7 myths of cataract eye surgery. Cataract surgery has been there for many ages. You have probably heard about it but what is interesting is that your grandparents have probably heard about it. Even their grandparents knew about cataract surgery. Over the years, cataract surgery has advanced so much. The surgical finesse has become so much better that the modern day cataract surgery is way ahead the cataract surgery that was performed 60-70 years ago.
The problem is all the new information and knowledge has not circulated to the masses. Most of the information from decades old technology is still circulating amongst our friends and relatives. Today, I want to destroy all these myths, which are still existing.
MYTH 1 Cataract Surgery You have to wait for cataract to get ripe before they can have surgery.
This might have been true around 60 years ago when we did not have microscopes, surgical lubes and stitches. We did not have modern technology to pulverize the lens and take it out through small openings. At that time, the only to take it out was when you could see that the cataract is white, red or black. Freeze it and then pull it out in mass. Over the years, we have developed surgical loops, microscopes to binocular microscopes and we can see the smallest things in there. We can make minute openings, go in there and remove lens, which might not have been visible to the naked eye. That is the first myth that we have to destroy totally. In fact, the opposite is true. You should never wait for the cataract to get ripe because as the cataract matures, it gets hard and requires more energy to be taken out. Why is so much energy bad? It is because we are in a closes space in the eye and the energy is going to hit the iris (the colored part of the eye), the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) and damage the cells. We want to avoid that. The first myth has been dismissed.
Myth 2 The doctor has to decide when you need cataract surgery.
This is news from a by-era when the doctor has to see the cataract and he was comfortable with the surgery. Today, it is all about you. Even Medi-care, medical insurance and everybody says that. The best time to do cataract surgery is when you feel that the cataract are bothering you and interfering with your active lifestyle. For different people it might be different. If you are 52-years old, and you have cataract that cause a lot of glaring driving, it might be troublesome for you and you might an early intervention. If you are a librarian or a stay-at -home person who does not drive a lot, then those minor cataract might not cause a lot of difficulty to you. You get to decide not the doctor or the insurance.
Myths Cataract Surgery #3 You cannot go blind with cataracts.
It is important because many people are fearful of cataract surgery. They feel that the surgery will harm them and that cataracts are not going to cause any problem in the long run. That is wrong because the cataract is hardening and changing the lens and it gradually keeps cutting off the light until there is no light. You would be surprised to know that cataract is the most common preventable cause of blindness in the world. When the cataract hardens, it can lead to increased pressure and inflammation leading to blindness. The third myth that cataracts cannot make you go blind has been busted. You should do everything at all cost to avoid it.
Myths Cataract Surgery #4 The cataract has to be removed entirely.
This was the in the 70’s when the cataract had to be taken out in mass. That is not true and in fact, the opposite is true. We do not want to take out the entire cataract. We take out the cataract bag, clean out the contents and put in a new synthetic lens using the old lens as a support of the new lens. If you do not do that, the new lens would fall down and you do not want that. It is like taking your car for an engine oil change, out comes the old and in comes the new. You do not change the whole cask of the engine itself.
This myth is close to everybody. Today, it is not true. Today, cataract surgery is one of the simplest and easiest procedure to perform. We keep it pain free both by topical drops and specially formulated drops that are instilled inside your eye. We make sure that your eye is numb and is pain free. We do not have to numb your whole body.
Myth #6 You have to be put out during cataract surgery.
If we are operating on your eye, we do not have to numb the whole body. We can take care of the pain.
#7 Myth Cataract Surgery
Recovery is long and painful. That is not true. Why? It is because it is a simple surgery performed in a short period of time for about 7-10 minutes. You are pain free and not totally asleep. Many people can go and work or even drive the same day if we do not give them enough medications. That is not what we are recommending. It is not like before when it was six weeks, in a day or two, you can go back to your activities of daily living.
I hope this information is useful and we have destroyed these 7 myths for now and forever. Thank you and have a wonderful day.
By Rajesh Khanna MD
a member of American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Cataract surgery is a type of operation that has been around for decades now. This is deemed as one of the safest surgeries there is. The success rate of cataract surgery is at 98% as per the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery . However, no matter how safe a procedure is, possible cases of complications of Cataract Surgery still arise. Though these complications may be of minor ones and can be easily corrected, knowing them would still be best so you may prepare in case they happen.
Other Cataract Surgery Complications – other complications following a cataract surgery may include, but is not limited to the following:
Cataract surgery complications, like the ones mentioned above, should be reported immediately to your doctor as soon as you notice them. One reason for this is because in just a few weeks or months post-surgery, the implanted lens can grow in place. This will then become a lot harder for your surgeon to remove or reposition.
*written by Los Angeles Cataract expert