Kelly Chung, M.D.

How should I prepare for cataract surgery?

When you decide on cataract surgery, your surgeon will discuss intraocular lens options and take eye measurements to help ensure the new lens is optimized for your eye.

For my patients, I recommend two additional tests that give me more information about your eyes and help me customize your surgery.  

  • Corneal topography — Also called “custom corneal mapping.” This test creates a digital map of your cornea, the clear tissue covering the front of your eye. It shows astigmatism and other irregularities that are not visible with examination alone.
  • Macular OCT — This gives me an in-depth look at your macula and identify any problems before surgery. The macula is the central part of the retina, responsible for sharp central vision. It can be difficult to see on examination if your doctor is looking through a cataract.

Insurance does not cover these tests unless you have a specific medical condition, but they are an investment in your vision. The cost for both tests – on both eyes – is $150, or $37.50 per test, per eye. If you are choosing a premium IOL, there is no additional fee. If you had LASIK, RK or PRK in the past, corneal topography is needed to choose your IOL power.

Other tips:

  • We will give you written instructions on preparing for cataract surgery, but don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have. Educating patients is an important part of my work and one I enjoy.
  • Tell your doctor about all your medications, over-the-counter medications, nutritional supplements and herbs.

What happens during cataract surgery?

An anesthesiologist gives you a sedative to make you sleepy and relaxed. Numbing drops are placed in your eye, which is gently propped open so you don’t blink.

To remove a cataract, I make a tiny incision at the side of the eye. I use a small ultrasound probe to break up the cataract and remove it. Then I place the new artificial lens in your eye. The eye is covered with a protective shield, and you rest in the recovery room while we help you prepare to go home.

Learn more about cataract surgery at Oregon Eye Specialists

What about cataract surgery complications?

“Secondary cataract” is a common complication of cataract surgery. The back section of your eye’s natural lens is left in place to support the new lens. Sometimes this becomes clouded and disturbs your vision. If it happens, it can be treated with a short, painless laser procedure.

Are there other cataract surgery risks?

Every surgery involves risk. Serious risks of cataract surgery include infection, reaction to the anesthesia or sedation, bleeding and detached retina. Less serious risks include eye irritation, dry eye, needing glasses or contacts and having more floaters (small spots) in your vision.

If you are concerned about cataracts or think you need surgery, you can request an appointment at Oregon Eye Specialists online or call us at 503-935-5580.

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About the Expert

Dr. Kelly Chung is experienced in complex cataract surgery and advanced lens implant technology, including multifocal, toric and Crystalens intraocular lens implants. For 14 years, Dr. Chung was lead cataract surgeon and director of comprehensive ophthalmology at Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Learn more about Dr. Kelly Chung »