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Medical selectors, pages, etc.
LAL surgery I had, for all of us "our age"
By oldedude
January 4, 2023 1:23 pm
Category: Medical

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I was interested in Curt's thread on the surgery he had. I still have 2 5" scars from mine done many years ago, so it was of interest to me. I got my obligatory cataract surgery last month. There are some considerations for this that you should know before you decide. I'm not recommending the lenses. I'm only saying that I'm happy with them so far. Like Curt, the advances in the medical field have really accelerated in the past few years.

I had LAL Surgery for cataracts. After doing some cost benefit views, I did one eye with the LAL (light adjustable lens, a Boston product (many of us have bought contact lens solution, the contacts themselves, etc).

First the set up.
I have astigmatism at about a 2.5. Not horrible, but absolutely a PITA. I always have to have lenses on when I shoot. I'm always seeing double (even when not drinking), etc. I am also right-handed/ left- eye dominate.

I chose an IOL for my right eye (close vision), and LAL for my left distance.
The main benefit of the LAL is that it can deliver more finely tuned vision results compared to non-adjustable intraocular lenses (IOLs).

The issue with LAL is that they're not covered by Medicare or most insurances. My IOL wasn't covered either because of the astigmatism. Medicare only covers standard lenses that take out the cataract. The IOL was about $2K, the LAL was about $5K total. So preop, op, and post op adjustments.

I went to my doc yesterday for an "adjustment." I thought I was doing okay, but I didn't know the limitations of the LAL lens, so I let her talk to me about it. The machine picked up a .75 astigmatism, which isn't that big of a deal. I was dilated and looked into a machine, followed the green light, saw some red lights, and I was done. I feel really good about the adjustment, and we'll see how I am next week. One thing with the lens. You must wear the glasses they give you any time you're awake and not in the shower. If you're outside during any daylight at all, wear the sunglasses. These are provided. They cover all UV spectrums, with extra coverage on the light spectrum that that affects the lens. The typical UVA/UVB glasses are not sufficient for the lens.

So for those with astigmatism, or near blind as we got older, this is something to think about. I was fascinated with the results.

I will not shoot until I am finished with the adjustments (up to three times) and the lens is locked in. There are too many changes in air pressure, and I'm not interested in reducing the effectiveness.

Everything here except for the differences in the lenses are my opinion only. The guy that put the lens in, is on the state board for cataract surgery and general surgery. So there's that.


Cited and related links:

  1. bostonvision.com

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Comments on "LAL surgery I had, for all of us "our age"":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on January 4, 2023 2:15 pm
    That's interesting, OD. Glad your surgery was a success and I hope your recovery goes well.

    One of my good friends is a local ophthalmologist. He was one of the first to perform a cataract operation using a foldable lens implant—a minimally invasive procedure now routinely used.


  2. by Donna on January 4, 2023 2:33 pm

    I wish you the best of luck with your eye surgeries, od. I, too, have astigmatism. I have prescription glasses for my farsightedness and astigmatism, but to avoid paying the cost for new glasses which could run us at least several hundred dollars, I'm still wearing the ones I've had for 10 years that don't work as well for me because my vision has deteriorated since then, not to mention that I'm holding the frame and lenses together with duct tape. I also need reading glasses. I tried bifocals years ago but I couldn't get used to them, and opted for separate reading glasses, but my farsightedness has deteriorated since I bought those glasses and have been rendered useless. For a substitute, I've been wearing drugstore reading glasses for about 5 years to save another several hundred dollars for new prescription reading glasses... which brings me to something you said:

    "Medicare only covers standard lenses that take out the cataract. The IOL was about $2K, the LAL was about $5K total."

    That, IMO, is disgusting. Not you - Medicare. Cataracts are very common among seniors. Why isn't Medicare covering state-of-the-art cataract surgery in full? And why am I forced to wear 10-year old glasses that I'm holding together with duct tape and drugstore reading glasses so I can do things like drive a car safely and read?

    Not only do I agree with Bernie Sanders that Medicare should be covering all vision-related procedures and glasses as well as hearing-related procedures and devices such as hearing aids (which I also need but can't afford), but that all Americans should be covered by Medicare. We're the only technologically advanced nation on the planet that doesn't guarantee affordable healthcare for all of its citizens which IMO is utterly shameful.



  3. by Curt_Anderson on January 4, 2023 2:43 pm
    Speaking of "our age" and vision issues. I just decided to enlarge the font size on these pages. If there isn't an overwhelming objection, I'll keep it bigger.


  4. by Donna on January 4, 2023 2:45 pm

    Keep it at the large font for us geezers, which is all of us.






  5. by oldedude on January 4, 2023 2:50 pm
    Cataracts are very common among seniors. Why isn't Medicare covering state-of-the-art cataract surgery in full?

    Medicare's answer is: We do cover cataract surgery, we don't cover "optional" surgery. Which you, like me, it's not really optional. Again, it's the money game.

    I agree that at least eye and dental should be a part of medicare. We opted to get a very comprehensive plan. What we paid last year was about $12K. For a "comprehensive plan," that good. I almost wish I could get my old plan back (pre-Medicare). I was only slightly more, but paid for many things this doesn't.


  6. by Donna on January 4, 2023 3:33 pm

    Yes, dental too. How did I forget that?

    $12K is outrageous. Totally disgusting.



  7. by HatetheSwamp on January 5, 2023 3:56 am

    OD,

    Do you have Part B with a supplemental plan or do you have a Medicare Advantage plan?


  8. by oldedude on January 5, 2023 8:15 am
    Medicare Advantage.


  9. by oldedude on January 5, 2023 8:16 am
    With a Part B rider.

    Sorry.


  10. by HatetheSwamp on January 5, 2023 8:20 am

    Do you mind me asking, through whom?


  11. by oldedude on January 5, 2023 12:43 pm
    FEDVIP Aetna.


  12. by oldedude on January 5, 2023 4:52 pm
    So in all fairness to Medicare. The expensive lens is new technology. And the adjustability is something couldn't have been done two years ago. The right eye that covered the astigmatism, but not adjustable is about 2k. If you figure in to glasses for the next, say, 15 years, I figure I'm about even. That was all in that my factoring. The adjustable was definitely a "want," not a need. I think the 2K lenses would be a need for those with astigmatism. Give me awhile and ask if you're interested in an update.

    Thanks everyone.


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