Cataracts: A Patient's Guide to Treatment is written for patients who have been diagnosed with cataract, are considering surgery, or have questions about their upcoming procedure. David F. Chang, an internationally recognized expert in cataract surgery, artfully explained the entire process of one of the great advances of modern medicine in language understandable to the patient. He did so in <100 pages by incorporating >50 illustrations, a detailed terminology glossary, and anticipation of questions from his thousands of cataract surgery patients.
The book format progressively walks the cataract patient through the entire surgical experience. The early chapters center on basic anatomy and a detailed description of cataracts. Chapters 2 and 3 cover how cataracts are diagnosed and the development of the intraocular lens from its infancy to the current modern designs. These chapters, in addition to sections of chapter 8, explain the defining features of monofocal, toric, multifocal, and accommodating intraocular lenses, and how they are used to meet patient needs. Chapter 5 discusses when to proceed to surgery and details the advantages of the small-incision technique over its large- incision predecessor.
Chapter 6 instructs the patient on the immediate perioperative period, how to properly instill medications, when to stop eating before surgery, and also what to wear on the day of surgery. Next, the intricate surgical technique is described and is reinforced by five color illustrations. Chapter 7 covers the conclusion of the cataract surgery process, reviewing the postoperative follow-up schedule, medication regimen, and physical activity restrictions immediately after the procedure.
Chapter 9 of the book attempts to answer questions patients may have who have co-morbidities in addition to cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and high myopia are specifically addressed. This final chapter is followed by a 6-page glossary of terms used by doctors when discussing cataract surgery and a list of resources if further information is desired.
One could easily see this book as being a part of every cataract surgery patient's preoperative education plan. A brief internet search yielded an average cost between $20 and $25. This cost would have to be considered when deciding on supplying it to every patient, having copies as a reference in the waiting room, or recommending it specifically to people who have extensive questions. However used, this thoughtful and informative book is a valuable resource for anyone diagnosed with cataracts.
Andrew B. Mick
San Francisco, California