More than 2.5 million Canadians have been diagnosed with cataracts and the number of people choosing a surgical option to address their vision loss continues to grow. When we meet with people during the initial free consultation, it’s common for them to have similar questions and concerns. Here’s 4 questions we hear fairly regularly, along with the answers we provide.
I’m currently taking the blood thinner Plavix. Can I still have cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure with a low risk of bleeding. In addition, there are techniques we can employ to reduce the risk when people are being treated with anticoagulants such as aspirin and Warfarin, and antiplatelet agents like Clopidogrel (trade name: Plavix). For the majority of cataracts we just do topical anaesthesia – and there’s no contraindication for cataract surgery. If it’s a difficult cataract or complicated with combined glaucoma surgery, we might use a retrobulbar block. If a block is used (rarely) then anticoagulants are contraindicated. Let us know about any medications you are taking during your free consultation and we can advise you accordingly.
I’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Is it safe to have cataract surgery?
The answer to this question depends on just how high your blood pressure is and whether or not there are other factors that might put you at risk. Generally speaking, if the diastolic blood pressure is above 100 or systolic blood pressure is 160 or more, we would probably recommend you continue with your treatment for high blood pressure until those numbers drop and then return for another consultation to determine your suitability.
I know cataract surgery is a safe procedure. But I’m still nervous about someone operating on my eye. Can I have it done under general anaesthetic?
Cataract surgery is typically done with a topical anaesthetic to address any pain issues. Most people find that this sufficient. For those who feel stress or anxiety about the procedure, a sedative such as Valium may also be recommended. Cataract surgeries can be performed under general anaesthetic, but this is a less common choice and would have to be done in a hospital setting rather than our clinic. Due to hospital wait times, it’s likely you would have to wait longer to have your cataract surgery.
I have diabetes. Is it safe for me to have cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is safe for people with diabetes. In fact, because people with diabetes are at higher risk to develop cataracts, it’s common for diabetics to have the procedure. Be sure to let us know about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have during the initial (free) consultation and we can let you know about any issues you need to consider before choosing to have the lens replacement surgery that will get rid of your cataracts.
We also address some common questions about cataract surgery on our FAQ page including:
- Is cataract surgery safe?
- After surgery – when can I drive and/or go back to work?
- Do I need avoid any activities during my recovery after cataract surgery?
- What type of intraocular implants are available?
- What is the Waiting Time for Cataract Surgery at BoydVision?
- What else can you tell me?
Nancy Williams chose to have cataract surgery when blurry street signs and hard-to-find golf balls indicated a need for vision correction. Hear her story, including how she researched her options and why Nancy chose BoydVision for the procedure.