Choosing the best cataract surgeon for you
Mr Tariq Ayoub - 20 Nov 2022
If cataracts are affecting your quality of life, it may be time for cataract surgery. But, choosing a surgeon can be daunting. Read this blog to help you choose the best cataract surgeon for you.
Who can perform cataract surgery?
Optometrists are usually the people that diagnose cataracts, but they aren’t qualified to perform surgery.
An optometrist can recommend suitable glasses or contacts to manage your symptoms. They will refer you to an ophthalmologist when your cataract can’t be managed without surgery anymore. Often, people don’t need surgery immediately, though you can request an earlier referral to an ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist is qualified to perform surgery and can provide a second opinion on the severity of your condition. Your optometrist may recommend a local ophthalmologist. Or, you can choose one yourself. Read our blog to find out what happens during cataract surgery.
How to pick a surgeon
Choosing a surgeon that suits your needs involves a bit of research. However, it’s worth it as your eyes are so important. We recommend asking the advice of people you trust and talking to the ophthalmologists themselves.
Talk to friends and family
If one of your friends or family members has seen an ophthalmologist for eye surgery, they may recommend their surgeon. Speaking to people with first-hand experience can be great for getting a valuable opinion as well as seeking reassurance about the procedure. Your loved ones may also share a negative experience. Did the surgeon explain everything they needed to know? Would they feel confident seeing them again?
Someone with previous eye surgery experience can also share what they wish they had known. Was there anything they wanted more information on? Were all their questions answered before their procedure? These answers can inform the questions you pose to your ophthalmologist.
Online reviews are another way to get the opinion of others on your potential ophthalmologist. Many third-party sites collect verified testimonials, such as Doctify. These sites may also include peer recommendations written by other specialists in their field.
Reviews and specialist recommendations are good indicators of what the person is like as well as the quality of their service. You’ll often see a theme within the results, such as explaining surgeries well, giving exceptional results, or being kind. Look for what is important to you.
Research ophthalmologists near you
Many people don’t want to travel far to get their treatment. Research eye surgeons around you and in the areas you are comfortable travelling to. However, if you find an ophthalmologist that matches your needs and preferences, you may be willing to travel further.
The ophthalmologist’s website should mention their qualifications and certifications. It also should give a rough idea of how experienced they are. You can usually find this information on their About page. Ophthalmologists have different specialisms; look for one that specialises in cataract surgery.
These ophthalmologists will be more likely to be up-to-date with the latest technology and lenses. They can often provide a more tailored service for your needs too. For example, they might offer refractive cataract surgery for vision correction or complex cataract surgery for those with eye conditions or other health problems.
Have a consultation
Many ophthalmologists offer a quick initial consultation, allowing you to get a feel for who they are. See whether you feel comfortable with them and confident in their abilities before deciding who will perform your eye surgery.
Below are some questions you should be able to answer after your consultation:
- Are you comfortable in their clinic?
- Can they explain the procedure to you in a way you understand?
- Are they willing to share the risks of surgery as well as the benefits?
- Will they tailor their treatment plan to you – your needs and preferences?
- Do they offer different lens types, such as monofocal or multifocal?
During your consultation, you could also ask about their patient outcome statistics. These give an idea of how successful their surgeries usually are. If they claim to have a 100% success rate across their career, be wary. Ideally, your ophthalmologist should have a complication rate lower than 5%. Discover more questions to ask during your consultation: Questions to ask about cataract surgery.
It’s generally a good idea to get a second opinion, so don’t be afraid to see a few different ophthalmologists. You may benefit from writing a pros and cons list that will help you choose the best surgeon for you later on.
Cataract surgery is more advanced than it used to be. Your surgeon should regularly update their surgical techniques. From diagnostics to treatment, the equipment and technology available should be modern and well-researched.
The type of lens used should depend on your circumstances. While on the NHS you can only have a monofocal (single-focus) lens, private ophthalmologists have a wider range of options. Read our blog to learn more: Types of lens implants used in cataract surgery.
As previously mentioned, most specialists will tailor their treatment to suit your needs. For example, your procedure might include correcting refractive errors to maximise your visual outcome. Some surgeons also offer laser-assisted surgery.
Can you find the information you need?
A good website will be patient-focused and provide helpful information about cataracts and their treatment. Do their pages include a list of FAQs to ease some of your worries? Are there articles explaining some of the common concerns in more detail?
These things suggest that your ophthalmologist thinks about you – their patient – and prioritises patient education. At Oculase, we believe an educated patient can make a more informed decision.
Book an initial consultation
Get to know our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon during an initial consultation. Mr Tariq Ayoub will provide a thorough consultation and assessment to determine the best treatment plan for your needs. Read or watch our patient testimonials to learn more about our eye clinic.
To learn more about Mr Ayoub, watch our video below.