A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Can You Still Need Cataract Surgery if You Already Had LASIK?

by Damion Wasylow 21 March 2022 10:55 AM

closeup of man's eye with digital graphics overlay
An estimated 600,000 LASIK procedures are performed in the U.S. each year. Many patients who undergo LASIK assume it’s the last eye procedure they’ll ever need. But might the development of cataracts one day require you to see an eye surgeon again?

The Difference Between LASIK and Cataract Surgery

LASIK corrects farsightedness, nearsightedness and even astigmatism by reshaping the cornea of your eye. Cataract surgery corrects blurriness, discoloration and vision loss caused by progressive damage to the lens of your eye. These are two separate eye structures. Thus, even if you previously had LASIK, you still have the same odds of one day developing cataracts and needing cataract surgery.

For Cataract Patients Who Previously Had LASIK

Cataract patients who previously had LASIK should inform their ophthalmologist about their LASIK history. LASIK changes the shape of your cornea, which may affect how your doctor treats your cataracts. 

If you previously had LASIK, your cataract surgeon will need to take additional steps during the pre-operative planning stage to evaluate your eyes and choose the best intraocular lens implant (IOL). Specifically, your doctor will need to know:

  • Your eye measurements before and after LASIK
  • Vision correction prescription before LASIK
  • Vision measurement after LASIK and before developing cataracts

The doctor who performed the LASIK procedure can provide this information to the ophthalmologist performing your cataract surgery.

Although having a history of LASIK adds an extra step to the pre-op stage of cataract surgery, as long as you inform your cataract surgeon in advance, it won’t affect your odds for success.

For LASIK Patients Who Previously Had Cataract Surgery

Yes, you can still have LASIK even after you have cataract surgery. In many cases, however, cataract surgery can actually eliminate the need for LASIK. Advancements in IOL technology, including multifocal lens implants, can correct many common vision problems.

It’s important to discuss your specific vision care options with an ophthalmologist who understands your eyecare history and all the treatment options available to you. A comprehensive eye exam is the best place to start. 

If you or someone you love is suffering with vision challenges, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to schedule an appointment.



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