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Vision after Cataract Surgery
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Vision after Cataract Surgery

My 84-year old father had cataract surgery on his right eye on 2/4/10.  Per his optometrist, vision in his right eye prior to cataract surgery was 20/50.  Now, after surgery, his vision in the right eye is 20/80, although they can correct it with lenses to 20/30.  His optometrist and surgeon both seemed surprised that his vision was worse, and were unable to explain it. They suggested he see a retina doctor to see if there was a problem with the retina, but the retina dr. said his retinas are great, with no signs of aging. (Thank God)  Today we went to another cataract surgeon for a second opinion, simply wanting to know why his vision was worse after surgery.  Not only did she not answer that question, she informed me that his vision post-op is BETTER, i.e., 20/30 with lenses.  I asked why his vision was worse after surgery, i.e., declining from 20/50 to 20/80, and she informed me I wasn't listening to her, that doctors reference the best attainable vision, which in his case is now 20/30.  Which is total BS!!!--she should work in Washington, make a great living telling people black is white and rich is poor.  Comparing his vision with the naked eye prior to surgery with vision attainable with glasses after surgery is like comparing apples and oranges.  If the dr had simply told me that his post-op vision is within the range of expectation for cataract surgery I could accept that answer.  Or if they would acknowledge that they might have made an error and implanted the wrong power lens but there's no way to know for sure, I could accept that too.  What I don't appreciate is his surgeon saying he doesn't know why his vision is worse now, and another surgeon telling me his vision is BETTER!  I'm disgusted with the whole mess--thank goodness my father is healthy as a horse, because wading throught the lies and doubletalk and evasion in the medical industry is exhausting.  4 post-op office visits later, associated time and gasoline = no information at all.

Think twice, long and hard, before having elective surgery.  Even if they tell you cataract surgery is 95% successful, don't do it unless you absolutely must.
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7 Comments Post a Comment
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711220_tn?1251894727
Standard cataract surgery does not correct for refractive errors-the need for glasses.  I would have to agree with the other doctors that his vision is better.  You need to ask the optometrist what was his uncorrected vision (no glasses) and his best corrected vision.  If his best corrected vision was better than 20/50, I am sure that the optometrist would have sold him glasses.  I am glad you father is healthy.  You on the other hand will have health care in the future of lower quality than your father.

Dr. O.
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Avatar_n_tn
The only improvement in my father's vision is that he no longer sees "double", i.e., before surgery he had difficulty with the open sights of his rifle, because he saw 2 of the front sights.  The cataract surgery seems to have corrected that.  But his "refractive error" is greater after surgery than before.  Information on the internet re: cataract surgery claims that >95% of people achieve 20/40 after surgery--he apparently is in that tiny 5%.
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Avatar_m_tn
Why is your father's best vision 20/30 after cataract surgery??  Does he have mild macular degeneration??  If that is the case, small refractive errors can have more of an impact.  I'll bet he'll adapt to glasses quickly though as not only will he gain 2 lines of vision from what he saw before, but his quality of vision should be much better.
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711220_tn?1251894727
Yes, and your father has achieved better than 20/40 CORRECTED visual acuity.

Dr. O.
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Avatar_n_tn
Nope, retina expert says his retina and macula are excellent, no signs of aging.  No one can tell us why he is 20/80 now, or 20/30 corrected.  I still suspect the wrong power lens was implanted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I agree with you about the future of Americn health care.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm having the same questions as to why my vision is not any better after my cataract surgery.  Before 20/40 uncorrected vision, no glasses after 20/40 no glasses.  Seems like something is wrong with this  Are you going to get another opinion?  I would have been happy with 20/30 uncorrected.  At least it would have been an improvement.  

Good luck and I hope you get some answers.
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