7190 Smoke Ranch Rd, #110
Las Vegas, NV 89128
You have been diagnosed with a cataract and are considering cataract surgery. This is an exciting time, but it can also be a scary and confusing experience. Fortunately, modern techniques with cataract surgery make this one of the safest and most successful surgeries, and most people do great. Dr. Peter DeBry is one of the leading cataract surgeons in Henderson and Las Vegas. The rewards of a successful surgery include brighter and clearer vision, in many cases without glasses! Because there is so much to understand about cataract surgery, Dr. DeBry has created this web information to help you prepare for and be more educated about cataract surgery. Please read through the information and send us any questions you may. It should cover all aspects of cataract surgery.
Many patients ask “When is the right time to remove a cataract?” The answer is very simple. The time for you to consider cataract surgery is when you feel dissatisfied with your vision. Here are some common scenarios that may lead you to consider cataract surgery:
A common misconception is that cataract surgery should not be done until the cataract is “ripe”. In reality, a cataract should be removed when it is causing visual symptoms. People are unique and there is a wide range of visual needs. Some people with visually demanding professions such as engineers and architects may notice even minor changes to their vision and be unhappy. Dr. DeBry will be able to help you determine when to remove a cataract.
When your cataract is removed, a new lens is placed inside of your eye. This makes cataract surgery an exciting time because patients who had been nearsighted or farsighted can now be made to have excellent vision without glasses. 20 years ago all patients receive the same type of lens with their cataract surgery. Over the last 10 years, manufacturing companies have developed new lens technologies. These lens options can give you additional benefits, but also more choices that need to be made in determining your lens implant type. Because of these multiple options, lens selection can be a frustrating process. The problem with intraocular lenses inserted with cataract surgery is that there is no way to try them before surgery to see which one you like the best. There are 2 important things to consider when choosing the artificial lens to be used in your cataract surgery: the type of lens and the power of the lens. Choosing a cataract lens depends on many personal factors, including
In order to determine the power of the lens implant, a series of eye measurements is performed. These measurements are then used in complex mathematical equations to calculate the power of your new lens. Because of variability in biological systems (not every eye is the same), there can be inaccuracies in the formulas.
There are now many different lens options available to patients. You and Dr. DeBry will work together to determine the perfect lens for you. Currently, the following types of lenses are available…
With a standard monofocal lens implant, the vision will be very clear in the distance but very blurry up close (for reading) without glasses. Some patients have even complained that they could not see their food at the dinner table without using reading glasses. Multifocal lenses were developed to allow patients to see well at several distances WITHOUT GLASSES after cataract surgery. Multifocal lenses offer benefits above and beyond those of standard lenses. They are not covered by insurance and require an additional out-of-pocket expense. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the following considerations when determining whether a multifocal lens is right for you.
Eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, or macular degeneration, can negatively affect the health of the eyes and the quality of the vision. These diseases, even in early stages, could cause problems with premium lenses. A multifocal lens is not recommended if you have one of these eye diseases.
Visual needs should also be considered when deciding on a multifocal lens. The technology contained in these lenses that allow you to read without glasses may lead to mild symptoms such as glare, halos, or decreased contrast sensitivity in certain conditions, such as night driving or dim restaurant lighting. Some patients rarely notice visual effects related to the lens implant. Others notice the effects but are not significantly bothered by them. If you feel you would not be able to adapt to these visual symptoms, you probably are not an ideal candidate for a multifocal lens.
Motivation to not wear glasses should also be determined when selecting a multifocal lens. These lenses are designed for patients who are motivated to not have to wear glasses after their cataract surgery. Some patients are accustomed to wearing glasses and do not mind using them after surgery. The additional cost of a multifocal lens would not be a reasonable investment for these patients. For other patients, eliminating the need for glasses is a strong desire. Paying the additional out-of-pocket cost for a special lens would make much more sense for these patients, as these lenses would give them the best option to achieve their goal to be free from glasses.
In summary, ideal candidates for multifocal lenses are patients with healthy eyes, little to no astigmatism, motivation to be less dependent on eyeglasses or contact lenses, and willingness to adapt to minor visual effects from the lens. Patients selecting a multifocal lens can reasonably expect to have good vision for reading and driving. Because no current technology is perfect there may still be circumstances where glasses are required to achieve a comfortable vision.
The average charge across the country for a multifocal lens implant is around $2500. This may seem expensive but remember: this lens will be used for the rest of your life, and you only have one opportunity to choose the best lens for you at the time of your surgery. Financing plans are available if you would like to pay for the lens over a period of several years. With these low-cost options, you may be able to pay as little as a few hundred dollars a month for your new lens.
To review, Astigmatism means that the cornea or front window of your eye has an oblong shape and curvature similar to a football. A normal cornea has a more rounded shape similar to a basketball. People with astigmatism do not have clear vision unless they are wearing glasses or contact lenses. During cataract surgery, astigmatism can be treated, resulting in clearer vision. Many people who have astigmatism treated during their cataract surgery can see clearly without glasses for the first time in their life. Low amounts of astigmatism are treated with corneal incisions (limbal relaxing incisions). Using a calibrated diamond blade, very small incisions are placed in the cornea to change the shape of the cornea. Larger amounts of astigmatism are corrected by implanting a special intraocular lens, called a toric lens. Astigmatism treatments are considered by most insurance companies to be an elective component in addition to the cataract procedure and therefore have additional out-of-pocket costs. This generally ranges from $500-$1500 depending on the treatment required.
|Life Situation||Recommended Lens|
|Would like to take full advantage of lens technology and avoid glasses after cataract surgery||Multifocal lens|
|Contact lens wearer currently using monovision||Monofocal lens with monovision|
|Currently wearing glasses because of astigmatism||Toric astigmatism correcting lens or limbal relaxing incisions|
|Biggest problem is glare driving at night||Aspheric monofocal lens|
|Enjoy being nearsighted and reading without glasses, willing to wear glasses for driving||Monofocal lens set for near|
|Do not mind wearing glasses, especially for reading||Monofocal lens set for distance|
|Would like to avoid glasses for most situations except for reading small print||Mild monovision with monofocal lens|
Generally, you can eat up until midnight the night prior to your surgery. In other words, no breakfast allowed including fluids such as milk or coffee. If your surgery is to take place later in the day, your surgeon may specify a different time. Please remember to not eat breakfast the morning of your procedure. It can be very frustrating to go through all the preparation and then have your procedure canceled or do the surgery with no sedation because you ate.
Yes, you should take your medications as usual unless directed to do otherwise by your surgeon. Many times, patients will arrive at the surgery center without having taken their medications and their blood pressure or blood sugar is elevated. In most cases, we are able to normalize these levels and perform the surgery as scheduled, but occasionally surgery is cancelled due to high blood pressure or blood sugar. If you need to take medications in the morning, drink only a sip of water with the medications.
If you are taking eye drops for glaucoma, it is very important to use them as usual unless your surgeon instructs you to do otherwise.
Most eye surgeons recommend that their patients start their medicated eye drops a few days before cataract surgery. There are several reasons that this may be beneficial. The antibiotic eye drop may decrease the number of bacteria living in your eye and reduce the risk of infection. The anti-inflammatory and steroid drops may help your eye to be more comfortable and heal quickly if started before the procedure. Finally, by starting the medications before your surgery, you will have a few days to work on any medication problems such as formulary restrictions or a pharmacy that needs to order the medication for you. If you are unable to start the medications prior to the surgery, do not be concerned. You are likely to have great results from the surgery even if the drops are started that day. Occasionally we get phone calls with panicked patients thinking that their surgery needs to get canceled because they forgot to take the eye drops.
There are some common questions asked about the cost of cataract surgery. They include:
Let’s talk about each of these categories to help you understand the costs associated with cataract surgery.
Some people think that a cataract is a vision problem and therefore should be covered under their vision insurance. This is incorrect. Cataract is a medical problem and therefore cataract surgery is a covered procedure under Medicare and other medical insurance plans. To be covered by insurance the cataract needs to be causing symptoms that are interfering with your daily activities. Your medical insurance will pay for the cataract procedure with the standard co-pay and deductibles applied.
At NV Eye Surgery we offer cataract surgery at competitive pricing, usually $1000 less expensive than any other clinic in Las Vegas or Henderson for cash pay cataract surgery. We are able to do this because our surgeries are done in our office-based surgery suite. This is significantly less expensive than a surgery done in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center (ASC). Our charge is $2000 for standard cataract surgery. This includes 90 days of post-operative care. Packages with special lenses such as a toric IOL or multifocal IOL have additional costs.
The newest technology used with cataract surgery is laser-assisted surgery. With this technology a laser is used to make the incisions, break up the cataract for easier removal, and treat any existing astigmatism. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is more expensive due to the technology behind the laser equipment. The laser makes detailed maps of the eye and incisions with a precision of less than a hundredth of a millimeter. Our charge for laser-assisted cataract surgery is $2100. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is a great option for people interested in achieving the best vision with the most effective technology.
Cataract surgery typically has 3 payments, the surgeon fee, the facility fee, and the anesthesia fee. This usually ends up being around $2000 for patients with insurance. Your actual out-of-pocket cost will depend on your deductible. Many people these days have a high deductible in the range of $3,000 to $6,000. In this case the surgery is essentially a cash-pay procedure. If you have a high deductible plan you may be able to save money by having surgery in our office-based surgery suite. With lower deductible plans the out-of-pocket for cataract surgery usually ends up being $150-$200.
If you have a tight budget and are looking for ways to save money with your surgery there are a few options to consider. One useful way to save money is with “Dropless” cataract surgery. With dropless surgery an antibiotic and a steroid medication are inserted into the eye after the procedure. With this technique no post-operative eye drop medications are required. This may save anywhere from $45 to $300 depending on your insurance plan. Another consideration would be to have both eyes done on the same day; this is called bilateral sequential cataract surgery. If you had planned on surgery in both eyes this will save up to 25% for the procedures. Finally, as mentioned above, if you have a high deductible then using our office-based surgery suite can save up to $500 per surgery. Please call our office if you are interested in more details.
Medicare and other health plans will cover cataract surgery. This coverage includes the surgeon fee, the anesthesia fee, and the facility fee. New technologies often offered with cataract surgery to enhance the vision are not covered by health insurance and add some additional cost to the procedure. Extra services can include…
These typically add $1,000 to $3,000 to the procedure depending on the region of the country you live in and the technology that you choose.
Some cataract surgeons market new technology such as multifocal lens implants as being better than standard monofocal lenses and their support staff encourage people to pay extra for these services. The reality is that multifocal or extended depth of focus lenses are NEWER technology, but they are not necessarily BETTER technology. Each lens has positive and negative aspects. While the multifocal IOL has a better range of focus, and less need for reading glasses, the trade off with these lenses is some glare at night and reduced contrast with certain lighting situations. For some people who want to avoid reading glasses, this trade off is better. But for people who don’t mind wearing reading glasses, a monofocal IOL may actually give sharper and clearer vision. Before you plan on spending more for your surgery, it is important to take time to decide what is important for you and how your needs can best be served with each lens option.