Can You Have Cataract Surgery After Laser Eye Surgery?

22 May 2020

By Author: Shafiq Rehman

Cataract surgery after laser eye surgery is absolutely possible, but it requires careful consideration and individualised planning. It is essential for patients to communicate their medical history thoroughly and for surgeons to use advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes.

A thorough preoperative evaluation by an experienced ophthalmologist is crucial in determining the suitability and potential challenges of cataract surgery in individuals who have previously undergone laser eye surgery.

At Optegra, we carry out over 40,000 cataract procedures each year in our dedicated eye hospitals and clinics, each equipped with the latest technology. Our surgeons are highly renowned in their field and have operated on many patients who require cataract surgery after laser eye surgery.


Is It Possible to Have Cataract Surgery After Laser Eye Surgery?

The decision to proceed depends on various factors, and it’s crucial to discuss your corrective surgery with your chosen consultant. They will assess the individual’s eye health, the severity of cataracts, and the results of previous laser surgery. A few factors will need to be gauged by an experienced surgeon before proceeding:

Nature of Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK or LASEK): These procedures reshape the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Cataracts, however, involve the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The cornea and lens are distinct structures in the eye.

Effect of Laser Eye Surgery on Measurements: Laser eye surgery can alter the measurements used for cataract surgery calculations. The power of the intraocular lens (IOL) implanted during cataract surgery is determined based on the eye’s measurements. Changes from laser surgery may affect the accuracy of these measurements.

Adjustments in Calculations: Surgeons can make adjustments to the IOL power calculations to account for changes induced by laser eye surgery. However, this process is not always precise, and there’s a risk of overcorrection or under correction.

Individual Variability: Each patient is unique, and the success of cataract surgery after laser eye surgery can vary. Some individuals may have more predictable outcomes, while others may experience challenges.

Age and Progression of Cataracts: The age at which cataracts develop and their rate of progression are crucial considerations. If cataracts are in their early stages and progress slowly, there may be more time to monitor and plan for surgery.

Advanced Technology IOLs: In some cases, advanced technology intraocular lenses (IOLs) can be used to enhance visual outcomes. These IOLs may provide additional correction for astigmatism or presbyopia, reducing the need for glasses after cataract surgery.

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    Can Laser Eye Surgery Cause Cataracts?

    Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK or LASEK, does not cause cataracts. These procedures simply reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye, and laser eye surgery primarily focuses on modifying its shape to improve vision.

    Cataracts, on the other hand, result from changes in the eye’s natural lens. With age or due to other factors, the lens can become cloudy, leading to vision problems. Cataracts are not caused by laser eye surgery, and undergoing LASIK or LASEK does not increase the likelihood of developing cataracts.

    It’s important to note that while laser eye surgery doesn’t cause cataracts, the two can coexist in the same individual. This means that someone who has undergone laser eye surgery might still develop cataracts later in life.

    If you have concerns about your vision or the possibility of cataracts, it’s advisable to consult with an eye care professional. They can assess your eye health, discuss any risk factors, and recommend suitable forms of treatment as needed. Remember, cataract surgery is the most performed elective surgery in the world; it is highly safe, effective, and largely pain-free.

    It is perfectly possible to have cataract surgery after having had laser eye surgery
    Cataract Surgery Suit

    Can Laser Eye Surgery Cure Cataracts?

    Laser eye surgery is not a treatment for cataracts. They are designed to correct refractive errors like near-sightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

    Cataracts develop when the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurred or impaired vision. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgical removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

    While laser technology is used during some steps of modern cataract surgery, it is not the same as LASIK or LASEK eye surgeries that reshape the cornea. The laser in cataract surgery assists in creating precise incisions and can help fragment the cataract for easier removal.


    You’re in Safe Hands: Meet Our Cataract Surgeons

    At Optegra, our highly experienced surgeons are true cataract surgery experts. They operate in one of our growing nationwide locations of dedicated eye hospitals and clinics. With only the most modern technology and techniques, we are proud that 99.6% of our cataract surgeries have an uncomplicated outcome.

    Shafiq Rehman Headshot

    By Author: Shafiq Rehman

    Mr Rehman is a highly acclaimed ophthalmologist with 27 years of experience.

    Medically Reviewed Date: 4th December 2023


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