Though cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common surgeries performed in the United States each year, choosing the right cataract surgeon can make the difference between a surgery that is acceptable and one that is outstanding.
You have the freedom and flexibility when it comes to choosing your surgeon, so, make an informed decision. Here are some factors to consider.
Qualifications and Board Certification
You want someone who is competent and fully certified in his or her area of expertise. Beyond medical school and residency, board certification is a further measure of rigorous training. Additionally, surgeons who become fellows, indicated by the letters F.A.C.S. after their name, have satisfactorily completed a comprehensive evaluation of their education, training and qualifications.
With cataract surgery being such a common procedure, you may have friends or family members who know of a skilled cataract surgeon. If not, ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist for recommendations. If you’re not sure what to look for beyond qualifications, this checklist of questions can help get you started.
• Was the office staff courteous and professional throughout your whole process?
• Were payment options explained thoroughly to your satisfaction?
• Did your surgeon explain the entire procedure, including potential risks and complications?
• Did your surgeon discuss all lens options as well as IOLs?
• How was your outcome?
• Describe your follow-up care.
Before Your First Appointment
Before you actually schedule an appointment, do a little research about the surgical center. Though you can certainly change your mind at any point along the way, it is best to invest your time and resources only once you are fully committed to a surgeon. Ask the staff specific questions to ensure you feel confident in the facility.
• How many cataract surgeries have you performed?
• Has this surgical center ever had an outbreak of an infection? If so, how many times has this occurred?
• Who sees patients for follow-up care immediately after surgery?
Beyond your questions, the staff should make every effort to inform you of pre-op and post-op care. It is important that you don’t feel rushed and are treated as a valued patient.