Have you had LASIK surgery as a young adult and are now wondering whether it may compromise your eligibility for cataract surgery later in life? You can put your mind to rest; it is indeed possible for someone to undergo both LASIK and cataract surgery — though only in that order. Someone who’s had LASIK can have cataract surgery later in life, but someone who’s had cataract surgery, in most cases, is no longer a candidate for LASIK or other refractive surgeries.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for either surgery or regarding any other ocular health matter, call for all of your eye care needs.
Understanding LASIK Surgery and Cataract Surgery
To better understand why cataract surgery is possible following LASIK surgery, it's important to know the basics of both procedures.
LASIK surgery and other refractive surgeries are performed on the cornea — the dome-shaped, clear tissue at the front of the eye. During LASIK surgery, a laser reshapes the cornea so it refracts, or bends, light waves more precisely onto your retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the back inner portion of the eyeball), resulting in clearer vision.
Cataract surgery, however, is performed on the eye’s natural lens — which is positioned just behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). The lens is responsible for focusing the light that passes through the eye onto the retina to produce a clear, crisp image. A healthy lens should be transparent and clear. Those with cataracts experience a clouding of the lens which disturbs normal vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens, improving the clarity of your vision.
Cataract Surgery Without Having Had LASIK
The artificial replacement lens is designed to correct vision and replace prescription glasses. For those who have not had refractive surgery, vision correction through cataract surgery is usually uncomplicated and has a predictable outcome. After cataract surgery, many patients experience clear distance vision without the need for spectacles, although many will still need their reading glasses.
Cataract Surgery Following LASIK Surgery
The modern equipment used by takes very accurate measurements of the eyes, even many years after having undergone LASIK surgery. However, it is still highly recommended for those who have had LASIK surgery to provide the surgeon with all previous eye health records so that the appropriate lens implant be used for cataract surgery. If you do not already have them, you can request these records from the doctor who performed your LASIK surgery. If obtaining these records is not possible, cataract surgery can still be an option, though the postoperative refractive error may not be as predictable.
Contact Us For All Your Eye Health Concerns
Whether you’ve had LASIK or not, you still may have questions about your vision and ocular health. At , we’re here for you. Speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about all of your vision and eye-related concerns.
Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, New River Valley, and throughout Virginia.