Los Angeles eye surgeon Dr. Linda Vu receives many questions about LASIK and cataract surgery, two of the most popular vision correction procedures today. Many of her former laser vision correction patients are curious to know whether it’s possible or even necessary to have cataract surgery after LASIK.
Read on as Dr. Vu discusses this topic in detail.
LASIK and Cataract Surgery Treat Different Parts of the Eye
It is very possible and safe to undergo cataract surgery after LASIK. This is because the procedures treat different parts of the eye and completely different vision problems. LASIK addresses refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism as a result of an abnormally shaped cornea (the clear tissue located at the front of the eye). The procedure reshapes the cornea so it can better refract the light rays entering the eye, improving vision.
Cataract surgery removes the eye’s normally-clear lens (located behind the iris) when it has become clouded with a cataract. During surgery, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (IOL) to restore clear eyesight.
A cataract typically forms over time, so many former LASIK patients do end up undergoing cataract surgery later in life. It is also possible to have LASIK done after having cataract surgery. However, this is becoming less common thanks to today’s IOL technology. In addition to replacing the natural lens, premium IOLs can be customized to correct certain refractive errors, potentially eliminating the need for laser vision correction after cataract surgery.
Special Considerations for Cataract Surgery After LASIK
Before undergoing cataract surgery, patients will need to select an IOL. This is a relatively straightforward process among cataract patients who have not previously undergone LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures. But for former LASIK patients, this process requires a few extra steps. In addition to taking measurements of the eye, the cataract surgeon will need to look at a record of the patient’s vision prescription and corneal curvature both before and after LASIK surgery. This information is crucial for selecting the most appropriate lens.
Dr. Linda Vu would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have in regards to LASIK or cataract surgery. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Vu, please contact our Monterey Park office today.