How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Dan B. Your Own Question

Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
36528250
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. Dan B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im 87 years old. I need to have cataract surgery on my left

Resolved Question:

I'm 87 years old. I need to have cataract surgery on my left eye. I also have a hole in my retina in the same eye. Previous cataract surgery on my right eye was not successful and a second surgery on the same eye to remove a membrane left me with an eye with only some peripheral vision. I'm afraid to have any surgery on my left eye for fear the same result would happen. If I am fortunate enough to have a good result on the cataract surgery, would it be necessary for me to have the hole repaired? And if it was necessary, could the hole be repaired by laser surgery?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thanks for your question.

 

I can understand your plight and how scary this must all seem to you. Certainly when you've had a bad experience with cataract surgery on the first eye, I can understand not wanting it for your other eye. I think it is important to understand how the retina works in relation to your lens (cataract) and the rest of your eye.

 

Imagine your eye was a camera. Your lens in your camera has become cloudy and dingy and doesn't work as well as it used to or needs to (it has become a cataract). Ideally, replacing that lens with a new, clear lens would enable that camera to function well again and provide good pictures. However, if you take that camera with a new, clear lens in it and put film in it that has a defect right in the middle of each frame in the film, the picture quality would suffer because of that defect in the film, no matter how good the rest of the camera is. Your eye is the same. The macular hole in the retina of that eye will limit your vision no matter whether the cataract comes out or not. The retina doctor probably either thinks the cataract should come out to improve your chances of seeing well after the surgery, or it may be that he/she recommends it to come out so they can see better to do the surgery.

 

The retina surgeon is correct, though, in saying that this retinal hole cannot be repaired by laser, but needs a bubble of gas to help close the hole. You can certainly choose to have the cataract taken out and see how your vision does afterwards, knowing though that the vision may not be much better even with the cataract out if the retinal hole is significant enough. Most macular holes that a retinal surgeon is recommending surgery to close are usually bad enough that it will limit the vision to a significant degree unless they are closed. You are in a difficult position because it sounds like the vision in the other eye is not very good either. This, combined with the fact that there is the possibility that the retina may not function as well as it did before even after closing the hole, makes it a particularly difficult situation.

 

I think it is reasonable to try the cataract surgery first and see how much that improves the vision. If your vision in that eye is functional right now (even with the cataract and the macular hole), then it may be reasonable to just wait and see if it worsens or stays the same). But if you get the cataract surgery and the vision doesn't improve much, it is likely the fault of the macular hole and would therefore need to be repaired to have hope for improved vision from that point.

 

Does that make sense and does that help address your concerns?

 

I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the ACCEPT button for this encounter. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.

 

Also, any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.

 

My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must be examined by your doctor.

Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DoctorDanB/2010-6-7_6228_just_answer_profile_picture_60_pixels.jpg Dr. Dan B.'s Avatar

    Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/anupamadesai/2010-04-13_122313_Dr._A.S.Desai_new_photo.jpg Dr. A.S. Desai's Avatar

    Dr. A.S. Desai

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1903
    MS Ophthalmology with 11 years of surgical expereince
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsokoye/2009-10-28_181751_Dr._Stan.JPG Dr. Stan's Avatar

    Dr. Stan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    895
    Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/eyemd/2009-04-07_180315_pic.jpg Dr. Stevens's Avatar

    Dr. Stevens

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    629
    Board Certified Ophthalmologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CorneaDoc/2012-2-18_0390_photo6.64x64.jpg Dr. Susan's Avatar

    Dr. Susan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    217
    Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neuph94/2009-10-11_164729_gif_pic.GIF Dr. JP's Avatar

    Dr. JP

    Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

    Satisfied Customers:

    28
    Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjcufyksv/2012-3-13_44825_crop3.64x64.jpg Dr-Trace's Avatar

    Dr-Trace

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    26
    Board Certified in General Ophthalmology