Someone I know has developed cataract. That is a little weird – I had always thought of cataract as something that strikes people who are 65 and above. Certainly not a young person’s disease. I had also thought of cataract as something that strikes people who cooked in smoke-filled kitchens over charcoal burning stoves, not researchers toiling in labs.
Certainly this person has none of the risk factors associated with cataract. He does not even qualify for “excessive exposure to sunlight” (now, who would think sitting indoors all day is actually good for you?)
But anyway, he has cataract. Indisputably. Two doctors have told him so, and his eye tells him the same thing daily. So now he is wondering whether to have the surgery in India or in the US.
My question is – is cataract surgery in India better than in the US?
Two reasons for asking this question:
- Something like cataract is commonplace in India, and Indian surgeons would have performed hundreds, if not thousands, of surgeries, so I imagine Indian surgeons are, if anything, more experienced at cataract surgery than their US counterparts.
- Research on the Internet tells me that in the US, post-cataract, there is a 20% to 30% chance of developing scar tissue after the lens implantation. This is what the New England Eye Center says about cataract surgery:
Cataracts are removed with sound waves not laser light. In 20-30% of patients undergoing cataract surgery, a thin film of scar tissue will form behind the implant lens and cause the vision to be blurred. Often patients will feel that their cataract has “grown back.” In these cases, an opening can be made in the scar tissue with a laser, and the vision will usually be restored.
I have never heard about such scar tissue formation in cataract surgeries in India. Certainly not that 20% to 30% of people need laser treatment after cataract surgery.
So dear blog readers – I am sure many of you are doctors, or medical students. Tell me, is the rate of scar tissue formation as high as 20% even in India? Am I just mistaken that it does not happen in India, or not as much?
Or is there any difference in the way cataract is treated in India and in the US?
Even if you are not in medicine, you may still have anecdotal knowledge of someone you know who had cataract surgery. Have you heard of this happen in India – scar tissue formation, I mean?
I would love all your opinions, and any anecdotal examples you know.