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Patients with Diabetes Can Have LASIK or Cataract Surgery?

February 26, 2018

Diabetes and Vision Correction | Whitten Laser EyePatients with diabetes or diabetic retinopathy can be great candidates for a vision correction procedure such as :

  • KAMRA Corneal Inlays
  • Cataract Surgery

While patients with diabetes face different challenges compared to patients without diabetes, vision correction can still be just as successful.  For our patients with diabetes, we want to take extra care to insure that:

  • There is no active diabetic retinopathy
  • Sugar is controlled
  • Acceptable A1C

Diabetic Retinopathy Controlled

Macular edema, or diabetic macular edema, is the most common complication of diabetic retinopathy.  Swelling occurs in the macula as a result of the retinopathy and causes blurry vision.

There should be no macular edema at the time of surgery.  Your visual results could be affected by the macular edema.  In addition, as in the case of cataract surgery, the swelling can worsen after the procedure, causing the vision to worsen.

During your pre-operative evaluation, we will be looking for active swelling from diabetic retinopathy.  Consultation with a retina specialist may be required.

Sugar Levels | aka Serum Glucose

Abnormal sugar levels can also blur vision.

Usually, abnormally high serum glucose levels can blur your vision.  Glasses measurements (aka refraction) can be thrown off making your vision correction unpredictable.

We will discuss your sugar levels and work with your PCP/endocrinologist to get you better prepared for surgery if needed.

In general, most patients want sustained sugar levels for several weeks before initial examination and measurements are obtained.

Hgb A1C

Hemoglobin A1C is related to sugar control.  A low A1C is a great indicator that your blood sugar is under good control and that a vision correction procedure can be considered, and with predictable results.

Pre-Op Vision Correction Consultation

During your pre-operative evaluation, we will obtain a thorough medical history and specifically address a history of diabetes.  A dilated eye examination will also provide clues of any active diabetic retinopathy.  Remember that vision can still be "good," though there is active retinopathy.

We will work closely with your primary care provider, endocrinologist or retina specialist in anticipation of possible vision correction to maximize control of your sugar and stabilize any retinopathy.

If have questions about diabetes and vision correction, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rose or Dr. Whitten at any of our locations, please call or email us!

Mark Whitten MD Shilpa Rose MD | Whitten Laser Eye


Shilpa Rose, M.D.
Vision Correction & Dry Eye Specialist

Mark Whitten, M.D.
Vision Correction Surgeon
LASIK, Cataract & Raindrop