June is Cataract Awareness Month

Cataracts are such a prevalent vision problem – nearly everyone gets them sooner or later! Here are some of our most commonly asked questions about cataracts.

Is cataract surgery covered by insurance? Yes, cataract surgery is medically necessary, so insurance companies do cover the surgery. Each insurance plan is unique though, so make sure you do your research to see what your particular plan will pay.

When can I resume normal activities…..are there restrictions on lifting or bending after surgery? Most surgeons will tell you not do anything that will cause you physical strain for at least 7 days. Most activities are ok, but no lifting over 20 lbs for a week & bending is ok unless instructed by your surgeon.

How long does cataract surgery take? The surgery itself typically will take about 15 minutes, though patients should plan to be at the surgery center for at least two and a half hours to accommodate prep and recovery time.

I know I cannot drive myself home from surgery, but can I drive myself to my post-op appointments in the office? There are typically no restrictions on driving the day after surgery. Most patients do, in fact, drive themselves to their post op appointments. Just use your discretion; if you feel you are not seeing well enough to drive, you should make other arrangements.

Will I have to wear a patch after surgery? This is a matter of surgeon’s preference. Most do not require a patch, but some like their patients to wear a shield during sleep for several days to a week after surgery.

Is it okay to travel somewhere by airplane after cataract surgery? Traveling by air after cataract surgery is generally okay, however, you may want to check with your surgeon before doing so because every case is unique.

Can I eat or drink the day of surgery? It depends on the time of your surgery. If you are scheduled in the morning, no food or drink after midnight. If your surgery is in the afternoon, no food or drink after 6am.

Are there co-pays for my post-operative appointments? Typically there are no additional charges for post-operative appointments that are directly related to surgical follow-up. However there may be a charge for refraction if that is done or for addressing other eye problems that could arise after surgery.

How long do I have to wait to get glasses if I need them after surgery? Every case is different, but to ensure a stable prescription, we will usually give the eye about 3 weeks to heal after surgery before prescribing glasses.

Why doesn’t insurance cover specialty implants that correct astigmatism or presbyopia? The stance taken by the insurance industry is that implants that correct astigmatism or presbyopia are not medically necessary. Conventional implants, which do correct near-sightedness or far-sightedness, are covered along with the surgery.

Do I need to use eye drops after surgery? Many of our patients do not need to use eye drops after surgery. In recent years, more eye surgeons are injecting a time-release medication during surgery to assist the healing process and prevent infection. In some cases, a person may still need an eye drop for a little extra healing boost.

If you may have questions not covered here, please feel free to call our Surgery Scheduling Team at Milwaukee Eye Care. They would be happy to help you!