Cataract video (click here)
Cataract surgery involves a period of intense pre- and post-operative care followed by an extended period of low level therapy. In uncomplicated cases, this usually means 4-6 weeks. Initial medication frequencies may be every 4 to 6 hours. If you are unable or unwilling to provide this treatment, surgery is not recommended. Also, we would not recommend surgery for pets that cannot or will not tolerate treatment as required.
Surgery can be considered on one or both eyes with or without intraocular lens implants. Patients benefit from cataract surgery because it allows them to move about without fear of bumping into objects. As in people, the loss of the lens causes a loss of up-close visual acuity. Without a lens, your pet may not have completely normal vision after surgery, but they do regain some vision. The image they see will be slightly larger and only partially focused and therefore less distinct. Most veterinary patients are handicapped without a lens, yet others do not show significant visual loss. Most dogs will see much better when an artificial lens is implanted inside the lens capsule, but not all patients are suitable candidates for implants.
Your pet will be checked into the hospital the morning of surgery and will usually be discharged later that afternoon. We will recheck your pet's eyes the following day. Recheck exams will be scheduled at 1, 2, and 4 weeks post-op, and are included in the surgical fee. Recheck appointments not kept will not be credited and additional visits will be assessed the normal fees. Medication refills are also not included in the recheck visits.
An ERG (electroretinogram) and ocular ultrasound will be recommended prior to surgery to assess adequate retinal function and position. The ERG, ultrasound, and the surgery itself are only performed at our Golden Valley office.
The success rate in cataract surgery has improved markedly, but there are still several possible complications including intraocular hemorrhage, glaucoma, extreme inflammatory response, retinal detachment, adhesion formation, and self-trauma. The cost of treating these complications is not included in your fee. Any of these complications can result in a blind eye. The risk of general anesthesia is minimal, but does exist in all patients.