Consent for Cataract Removal and Implantation of Intraocular Lens by David F. Chang, M.D.
The option of cataract removal has been offered to you as a means of improving your vision. The decision to operate and the timing of surgery are elective. The cataract is the lens within the eye that has become cloudy. After it is surgically removed, the cloudy human lens will be replaced with an intraocular lens “implant”.
The “implant” is a small artificial lens that is permanently implanted into the eye during surgery. It does not require cleaning or removal (as with contact lenses). In addition, conventional glasses are usually prescribed to enhance the focus for certain distances.
Risks of Eye Surgery
As with any operation, there are risks to cataract surgery. Individuals may respond in a unique way to any medical treatment. The anatomy of individual eyes may also vary. Although improved surgical techniques have greatly improved the success rate, complications can and do occur. Fortunately, severe complications that can cause loss of vision, such as major internal bleeding or infection, are very rare. Uncommon, but potential ocular complications may also include prolonged elevation of intraocular pressure, corneal clouding, retinal problems such as detachment, and chronic internal inflammation. Some of these conditions may arise in an aging eye without surgery, as well.
As with all types of surgery, there can be unpredictable complications of local anesthesia and adverse reactions to medications. It is even conceivable that health problems elsewhere – completely unrelated to surgery – can occur during or close to the time of surgery, simply due to your general state of health.
The purpose of this form is not to frighten or upset you. Rather, it is to insure that the decision to undergo cataract surgery has been carefully thought out with regard to the benefits and risks. Fortunately, for most individuals, the chance of success with surgery is more than 95%. Without surgery, the visual loss caused by a cataract cannot be restored because the cataract will not spontaneously improve.
Informed Consent for Operation
The basic procedure of cataract surgery and intraocular lens implantation has been explained to me, including the advantages, disadvantages, alternatives, and possible risks. Although it is impossible for Dr. Chang to inform me of every possible complication that could occur, he has answered my questions to my satisfaction. I have read this consent form (or it has been read to me), and I understand the possible risks and benefits of having surgery.
The separate consent form for the facility/anesthesiologist is signed upon your arrival at the surgery center and can be viewed online here.