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Can you tell me reassuring stories about cataract surgery in elderly people?


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My GFIL, who is 90, was diagnosed with cataracts and is considering getting them removed. 

I know that this is a low risk procedure, and that even very elderly people do well with it, but we had a very rare complication with cataract surgery for my child that was pretty disastrous.  So, my anxiety is high.  

Anyone have any reassuring stories? 

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My friend, mid-70s, had both eyes done this summer, one at a time. I took her to the surgery, she was in the building for about 2 hours; we had a picnic lunch afterwards. She drove herself to the follow-up the next morning, was back to gardening that afternoon. 

Edited by regentrude
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Every single one of my parents/in-laws had it, and it was a HUGE benefit to them, immediately, and very little trouble.  The hardest part was for one of them who needed help to put in the eyedrops (arthritis) but that was it.  

I'm sorry that it went badly for your child, though.  

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I know so many older people who've had it and it was not a big deal and well worth having done. 

My own mom had a cornea transplant last month.  She is 75 but has lots of health problems.  Her situation required extra follow up but she has healed well and she is SO happy she did it now.  

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My great great grandmother had it done twice (to both eyes) in her 80’s and 90’s. It went fine. At 101 she needed it again and decided she would sell her house and move herself into a nursing home instead. She said she was afraid of the anesthesia, but I suspect it was just a good excuse to move off the farm that was getting harder to maintain. 

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Both of my in laws had it done, my MIL 25 years ish ago.  (She had cataracts from the time she was 12.). My FIL's was maybe 2 years ago?  No anesthesia was involved for either.  They both had eyedrops to put in.  They literally came home and we all went out to lunch and they had a completely normal day.  It was, shockingly to me, completely trivial and a non issue.

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Of the dozens and of people I’v known who had cataract surgery, two had infections, and one had the wrong Rx lens placed. That’s it. The wrong Rx and one of the infection people were married to each other, and I have no idea how that went sideways for either. They are not that old, the wife is a retired nurse (not that long), they are both assertive and professional, and they both have had TONS of medical intervention over the years that had been great.

Also, my mom worked for an ophthalmologist for a long time, and she’s never seen significant complications from cataract surgery.

Regarding surgery in old people, two of my grandparents have undergone major surgeries at nearly the same age and have had nothing but benefits from those surgeries. This includes cataracts but also things like aneurysm surgery, hernia repairs, thyroid, and gallbladder.  My grandfather’s cataract surgery was life-changing as he had a major Rx in his only eye that worked well. The Rx lens gave him the best vision of his life. 

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My FIL had it done when he was in his 80's. He was diabetic, history of heart attack and bypass surgery. He did fine. 

My grandmother had it done in her 80s. She did fine. My maternal grandmother had it in her 70's a long time ago, and she did fine--also lots of pre-existing health problems.

My dad had it in his late 60s, and he did fine, too. 

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My mom had one done about seven years ago. The doctor put in the wrong lens & it was basically medical malpractice. She was very depressed for over a year (& she doesn't do surgery lightly because she's highly allergic to common anesthesia).

I'm saying that because she (understandably) refused to get the other eye done for years. Finally, her other cataract was so bad she was effectively blind. She had the other eye done this summer. She's 77 & currently going through chemo for two types of stage 4 cancer.

Everything went fine & she healed well. And she's so glad that it's fixed (even though it was more complex because the cataract itself was so large/advanced). She had no problems.

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My grandmother had it done and went around the next day delighted by how bright and colourful everything was.  It was a huge success!!  My dad had the same surgery and is also pre-diabetic.  He took a little longer to heal, but was overall content with the results.

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Both of my parents had their eyes done this spring, they are currently 80 and 85.  No complicaions or problems at all.  Both are very happy.  My mom's only complaints were she saw different colors looking at things when only one eye was done, it took several days for her vision to be clear and it bugged her, also didn't like the eye drops.  My dad on the other hand had no complaints.  Think it was great except that now he can see his hair is thinning and I had to buy him some special shampoo.

 

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Is anyone able to tell me the eye drop protocol before and after the surgery?  My dad needs to have one done and our consult appt isn't until the end of August.  He will not be able to do the drops himself, so DH and I will be taking turns going over for this.  Someone (on FB) recently mentioned it was several different drops 4 times a day for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after.  Is this correct?  If so 😭😭😭!!!

If all goes well, will probably do his other eye 2 weeks later so the drops overlap some and I won't need to get him in for his pre-surgery physical and EKG twice 😩!

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I've known countless people who've had it done and not a one who regretted it or had any issues.

I did have a conversation with a friend recently who told me she was a candidate but was waiting to do it... and I think I'm remembering this right... because the long long term effects are less certain or can potentially wear off? She's youngish and was like, I want to save it for if my eyes get worse. But I would think that wouldn't apply to anyone over 75 and certainly wouldn't apply to someone in their 90's. My grandmother had it done in her 80's and was just fine. It was so weird to me after because she didn't really need glasses for most tasks. She had worn glasses nearly all my life!

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7 hours ago, Farrar said:

I've known countless people who've had it done and not a one who regretted it or had any issues.

I did have a conversation with a friend recently who told me she was a candidate but was waiting to do it... and I think I'm remembering this right... because the long long term effects are less certain or can potentially wear off? She's youngish and was like, I want to save it for if my eyes get worse. But I would think that wouldn't apply to anyone over 75 and certainly wouldn't apply to someone in their 90's. My grandmother had it done in her 80's and was just fine. It was so weird to me after because she didn't really need glasses for most tasks. She had worn glasses nearly all my life!

I think sometimes the lens does something funny, but I thought the follow up surgery was laser or something minimal. I don’t think it happens often.

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