Cataract Surgery?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Cody Fousnaugh, Feb 13, 2018 at 9:13 AM.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Had a heck of an afternoon yesterday.

    Wife and I went to Eye Consultants (surgeons) to have dilation done on my eyes for possible cataract surgery. I already knew I had a cataract in each eye and my left eye cataract was progressing faster than the right eye. They recommended doing both eyes within a 2-3 week period. Anyway, everything was going fine, until they guided us into the Scheduling Room and we found out we'd have to pay $1,800 (out of pocket) for laser surgery. Even though they do regular surgery, they highly recommended (of course) the laser surgery. More money for them. And then, they gave me a form for my VA doctor (PCP) to fill out. Well, if a procedure isn't done through the VA, a VA doctor generally doesn't want to sign something not done by the VA. I haven't had a need, so far, to get a regular doctor (with Medicare), so my VA doctor is my only PCP. Then, the three prescription eye-drops that I have to use pre-surgery and after surgery, were a little over $500 (out of pocket), even with our Drug Plan.

    So, the plan now is to call and ask for a copy of the eye exam I had and cancel the surgery date. Going to contact my VA doctor and see what she says about the VA Medical concerning eye exams and cataract surgery. My brother had laser cataract surgery done on both of his eyes, but it was 10 years ago.

    My wife has a week of vacation coming up in April and we going on a trip in July, so don't want to mess up either with a surgery right now. Will wait until after July. My eyesight isn't that bad at all. Am going to buy some eye drops online that help with cataract problems. These eye drops are highly recommended.

    It appears my eye doctor referred me to a very "upper-class" eye consultation office. During my eye exam last October, he didn't even mention cataract surgery to me. He just told me "the left eye cataract is progressing faster than the right eye". Absolutely nothing about surgery. I told him about my medium "night glare" and he recommended I get dilation done by an eye surgeon's office.

    Anyone here know about cataract surgery.......regular or laser?
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yikes! I'm going to need it but I didn't think I had to pay. :(
     
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  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    If it's done with a laser, you'll have an out-of-pocket cost. It will cost some with Medicare as well. For some reason, probably because the surgeon gets more money for laser surgery, laser surgery is always recommended. Apparently it's easier for the surgeon to do.
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Guess I'll wait....not that urgent.
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Just bought the eye drops I mentioned in my opening statement. Will try them first, then go from there.
     
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  6. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    I have a cataract in my right eye. Everything I've read says don't do it unless the cataract is bad enough that it affects your daily living.
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    But, what is meant by "affecting daily living"? Mine affect my distance sight, but it's not terrible. It's the dang headlights of new vehicles that can be/are a problem.........so, so bright! But, have got yellow plastic Shooting Range glasses that I can put on over my eye glasses that really dim down the bright white glare.
    And, I was told that it could affect me getting a DL in a new state, even wearing my glasses.
     
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  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    I had a friend suggest that I get a "second opinion" on the surgery. Will have to do that thru the VA Medical. The exam I just had will be partly paid thru Medicare and I only get one eye exam a year with them. My regular eye exam, at the end of the year, will be taken care of with my wife's job vision insurance. Again, that insurance only pays for one exam a year. So, have to leave the next exam up to the VA.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My wife had laser surgery and yes, she did have to pay out-of-pocket because Medicare wouldn't pay for laser.
     
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  10. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    But, regular cataract surgery is pretty much paid by Medicare and any supplement.........correct? Wonder why Medicare doesn't cover laser eye surgery.
    Even though the eye surgeon we spoke to on Monday told us that laser surgery is easier to do, and more liked by surgeon's, it costs so much. We almost flipped when we read $1,800 per eye, plus the cost of the eye drops.
    We are finding out that Humana Walmart Drug Plan isn't nearly as good at covering prescriptions, as we originally thought. I get all of my regular prescriptions thru the VA Pharmacy.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yes, regular surgery would be covered but not laser. I don't know why but laser seemed the safer way to go, so we paid it out of pocket.
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    So...there are two ways to do cataract surgery? Regular and laser??

    I'm still putting mine off...I need to control my anxiety first. Second I have to plan it so my daughter is available to come to Fresno and stay at least one night.

    Weekend would work but I doubt eye dr will work on the weekend.

    I don't drive at night anyway...other than that my vision seems ok. Maybe in bright sunlight I have trouble reading street signs far away.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yeah, you have to have a driver to drive you home before they'll even start cataract surgery. If my wife is an indication though, there is very little discomfort involved in it, other than the idea that someone is going at your eye with a laser.
     
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  14. May Benot

    May Benot Active Member
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    I've had both eyes done ( laser) 11 months apart, each time, I got to the hospital at 8am, was home by 4pm same day, sight was 100% within a week ... it's not suitable for ev'ryone so wise to get it done sooner than later ... my first one was $2000+ but needed urgently, 2nd was only $100 with Medicare, but this is in Australia, no idea of benefits or waiting times in US/UK

    Only discomfort for me was the eyedrops immediately before surgery, boy, did they sting :eek:
     
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  15. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    We were told that, due to me being a Diabetic II, it could take longer to recover. Going to end up getting a second opinion about the "need" of this surgery from a VA Medical eye exam.

    What we are wondering, is the laser surgery better for the patient to go thru than the regular surgery? I know that after surgery, a person is using at least one type of eye drops daily for a few weeks and the person's activities are almost nothing during that time. If incorrect, please correct me on that.
     
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  16. May Benot

    May Benot Active Member
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    In my case, I was advised not to drive for 24hrs but think that because of possible effects of the anaesthetic used in the op....also told to avoid bright lights, wear sunglasses and always use eye drops to prevent dry eyes, o'wise, ev'rything else was normal and have had no problems
    Still using eyedrops but the cheap brand is just as effective for dryness
     
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  17. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Still wondering which is better.........laser or regular surgery? Of course, all of the information the Eye Consultant Office gave us was for laser surgery, but they aren't paying for it, We are!
     
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  18. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I would worry more about the Doctor who is doing the Surgery than which kind is better laser or regular.

    In my case when it comes time to do cataract surgery I will not be able to afford the laser one...so it will be regular for me. And I'll be looking for a Surgeon who has done this surgery often and with as close to 100% success rate as possible.

    My Optometrist hopefully will be able to point me to the best Surgeon for this...who accepts Medicare. Our Medicare Advantage plan does cover this with a copay too.
     
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