Choosing an eye surgeon

Once you decide to have cataract surgery, you’ll need to choose an eye surgeon to perform the operation. Some things to keep in mind are the surgeon’s experience and skill, how easy it is to talk to him or her and have your questions answered, and your previous experience with this eye doctor, if any.

Referrals may help you choose an eye surgeon. Ask friends who have had cataract surgery or contact a university with a medical school or a hospital for names and references.

If an eye doctor has recommended surgery, you may want to get a second opinion. Make an appointment to see an eye doctor who does not work with, and was not referred by, your regular doctor. You do not have to tell this doctor that someone else has already recommended surgery—let this doctor come to his or her own conclusions about whether you need cataract surgery.

Questions for your doctor ► Questions for your doctor ▼

Here are some points you may want to bring up with your doctor. Check the questions you’d like your eye doctor to answer during your next appointment or conversation.

  • Do I really need surgery? What will I gain by having it?
  • What are the risks?
  • What is surgery like? Will it hurt? What will I see?
  • Will any other problems like glaucoma or diabetes affect my cataracts or my surgery?
  • How long will I need to recover from the surgery?
  • Will I need glasses after surgery? If I wear contacts, can I wear them again after surgery?
  • Are there some things I won’t be able to do after surgery? If so, for how long?
  • Will someone have to take care of me after surgery? If so, for how long?
  • Will the medicines I take for other illnesses interfere with surgery or my recovery?
  • How experienced is the doctor? Is he or she board certified?
  • Is a payment plan available?

Write down any other questions you may have.