Planning Your Eye Surgery

If you are preparing to have eye surgery, you are not alone. This year, millions of people will have surgery for glaucoma, cataracts, retina disorders, and many other eye-related problems. And each patient will face the same question—where should I have my surgery?

Most eye surgeries are outpatient procedures performed at either a hospital or surgery center. And the choice between the two is largely a personal decision. Outpatient surgery at both hospitals and surgical centers are regulated by the federal government and state entities. And research shows both facilities have high quality and safety standards.

In some cases, surgical centers can offer quicker appointment times and lower costs. However, some patients feel more comfortable having surgery in a hospital where emergency personnel are nearby. This may be especially important to eye surgery patients who are older and have other medical problems.

Regardless of which type of facility you choose, consider these planning tips:

  • Check whether your hospital or surgery center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc (AAAHC). This is a sign that the organization is committed to high-quality health care.

  • Choose a location that has handled many similar types of cases before. Typically, the more procedures a facility performs, the better the patient outcomes.

  • Ask your health care team how you should prepare for the surgery. For example, should you stop taking certain medications temporarily? Do you need to schedule special tests or exams beforehand?

  • Prepare for your recovery. Have someone with you who can drive you home and pick up prescriptions. Ask your doctor about any limitations you will have after the surgery. Make all necessary arrangements beforehand.

  • Ask your health care team to write down specific instructions on how to care for your eye. It may be difficult to remember once you are home. 


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