The second one is done. Surgery went smoothly and recovery is going well. The second eye appears to be recovering more quickly than the first. There was less redness and I had usable vision in the eye the next day.
I was amazed at how much colors had changed. The cataracts were filtering blue light. Loosing both of them, colors are consistent across my visual field and I’m amazed at the change in the off-whites in the kitchen back splash, kitchen and bathroom marble, and tile floors. All have lost their lemonade look. Oh, and the stains on the shower enclosure tile are obvious. Field day happened.
Most eye surgery facilities and front of eye surgeons do not make outcomes generally available. There are two outcomes of interest, the complications rate and the percentage of surgeries that achieved or exceeded the surgeon’s target vision quality. Complications are extremely rare, on the order of 1 in 10,000 procedures. Surgeon skill, facility infection control practices, and patient home care compliance determine the complication rate.
Surgeon pre-treatment attention to detail and proper maintenance and use of eye imaging systems before treatment determine the post treatment vision quality. The quality of the pre-treatment eye measurements largely determine the vision outcome. Get the measurements right, correctly pick the prosthetic per measurement guidance, and position it properly when it is implanted and follow home care instructions and a good outcome will happen.
Most facilities and surgeons don’t advertise their outcome statistics. Ask about complication rates. Ask about on target vision outcome rate. Virginia Eye is admits to achieving expected vision quality on 95% of its placements. But they’ll only tell you that if they ask. To put that number in context, you need to ask about national medians and regional medians.
Laser assisted surgery
Because I opted for toric lenses, my surgeon used a femtosecond pulse laser to pulp up the natural lens for removal by suction and cut the access that would be used to remove the old lens and implant the new. The laser procedure relies on the pre-surgery measurements. The better these are, the better the surgery.
The pre-surgery measurements locate retina features that the laser will use to correctly locate the incision. This is all automatic. Machine vision and remote sensing correctly position the laser relative to the patient and steer the laser beam during treatment. The surgeon picks the targets and benchmarks. A laser operator qualified technician does the actual laser operation while the surgeon is working on the previous patient and setting up for the patient in the laser lab.
Most Yelp reviews talk about likability. Did the reviewer like the staff and the experience. Not were patient outcome goals achieved. Take Yelp reviews of healthcare services and providers with a large amount of salt. Nobody is going to like a root canal.
While in the queue for cataract surgery, I mentioned that I was in the process to my ear, nose, and throat specialist. He asked who my surgeon was and thought well of her and her work. It is best to have your primary care vision practitioner refer you to an eye surgeon and clinic. Review that referral with primary care. They know provider reputations and will wave you off if the referral is to a sub-par provider.