Can I Have Cataract Surgery If I’ve Had LASIK?

It is certainly possible for patients that had LASIK or PRK to undergo cataract surgery, because the procedures treat different parts of the eye and correct different problems. Dr. Eric Donnenfeld has worked with people that elected to have LASIK in their younger years to correct a refractive error, and then developed cataracts later on in life as part of the natural aging process; he can successfully treat both.

What Cataract Surgery and LASIK Achieve

LASIK reshapes the cornea, or the dome-shaped transparent tissue at the front of the eye. The cornea is responsible for bending, or refracting, light rays that enter the eye onto the retina. When the cornea is abnormally curved, it cannot properly focus the light rays onto the cornea; this causes nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, a laser is used to reshape the corneal tissue so it can better refract the light rays.

Cataract surgery replaces the lens, which sits behind the iris or colored part of the eye. The lens’ role is to focus light that passes into the eye and produce clear images on the retina. Normally, lenses are clear, but when a lens develops a cataract, it becomes cloudy or opaque. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens.

Special Considerations for Cataract Surgery after LASIK

Cataract surgery for people that have not had LASIK or another refractive surgery is usually straightforward and predictable. However, cataract surgery for patients that have had LASIK is slightly different.

For example, part of the preoperative stage of cataract surgery is selecting the appropriate artificial lens that replaces the natural lens. This typically involves taking measurements of the eye. To select the right lens for patients that previously had LASIK surgery, Dr. Donnenfeld must take the measurements of the eye and look at a record of the patient’s vision prescription and corneal curvature both before and after LASIK surgery. This information helps him recommend the most appropriate lens.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Donnenfeld

Dr. Donnenfeld would be happy to sit down and talk with you about cataract surgery after LASIK. Please call or email our practice today to schedule a consultation.


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