LASIK or Cataract Surgery?
By Jeffrey Martin, MD
Published on April 16, 2010
We have many patients that come in wanting LASIK laser vision correction when cataract surgery is the appropriate procedure for them. Dr. Jeffrey Martin, from Smithtown, New York in Long Island, feels that it is important not to perform laser vision correction on patients that already have visually significant cataracts. Both procedures, LASIK and advanced cataract surgery, provide vastly improved vision with few risks.
Generally, LASIK is appropriate for patients that are under 60 years of age. Cataracts do not present a big problem at that point, and LASIK eye surgery should correct vision for a substantial number of years. Having said that, Dr. Martin, Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at SUNY Stony Brook, does have patients that develop cataracts at an earlier age.
Once a cataract begins to develop, lens changes in the eye can change the prescription reading significantly, causing the eyeglass prescription to become unstable. Laser vision correction would not be advisable because the vision may change. In those patients, we begin to speak about cataract surgery, which will correct vision similar to LASIK and the result should be stable. It is not in the best interest of the patient to performing LASIK if cataracts need to be treated in the near future.