Understanding Conventional Cataract Surgery

The purpose of your eye’s natural lens is to bend (refract) the light rays that enter your eye to focus on an object so you can see. If your lens becomes cloudy, you may need cataract surgery to improve your vision. Common symptoms of cataracts include blurry or hazy vision, halos around lights at night and difficulty seeing contrast.

How long does conventional cataract surgery take?

During laser eye surgery  removal, the surgeon replaces your old, cloudy natural lens with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Prior to surgery, your ophthalmologist will measure your eye to determine the correct power of IOL for you. During the surgical procedure, your surgeon creates small incisions in your cornea and maneuvers an instrument with sound waves to break apart and remove your diseased lens and suction it away. They will then insert your new, clear IOL.

Traditional cataract surgery is less expensive than laser-assisted surgery, but both are safe and effective. The cost of cataract surgery varies based on the location of your doctor and their level of experience. Your ophthalmologist can give you an estimate of the costs before surgery. Your health insurance plan may also have a certain deductible that you must meet before they cover the cost of your surgery.

Medicare, the US government’s health care system for seniors, pays 80% of the fees for conventional cataract surgery when performed at an ambulatory surgical center. This includes the doctors’ fee and the facility fees. The average out-of-pocket cost for cataract surgery minus the Medicare Part B copay was $3,279 per eye in 2021.