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What is the Most Common Eye Surgery?

The most common eye surgery is, without a doubt, the cataract operation. At least 4 million are performed annually in the U.S. alone, and more than 30 million on a global scale. That equates to a staggering 60,000+ cataract procedures performed every single day. 

The closest eye surgery by volume to this is LASIK—the most advanced form of laser vision correction—which comes a very close second.

Cataract Surgery & LASIK: The statistics

  • Understanding cataract surgery
  • Understanding LASIK

Understanding cataract surgery

The reason cataract surgery is the most performed eye operation is simple:

“Everyone, if they live long enough, will develop cataracts”.

Because cataracts will, without surgical intervention, eventually cause blindness, everyone will need to undergo cataract removal. Sadly, while the vast majority of Westerners are lucky enough to benefit from this, this might not be the case in underdeveloped countries. It’s a fact that, by the age of 80, every human being will either have cataracts or have had an operation to remove them.

Once we understand this, it’s easy to see why this is the most common eye surgery across the world.

Understanding LASIK

While LASIK surgery is also carried out on a massive worldwide scale, not everyone will need or will choose to have it. While a large percentage of people have refractive errors that would benefit from LASIK, these can be easily treated without invasive treatment. In other words, simply by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Of course, many people yearn for a lifestyle without the burden of these. This is where LASIK is so valuable. In direct contrast to cataract surgery, LASIK is best performed at a younger age. Indeed, most LASIK experts agree that the optimal age is between 25 – 40 (although all cases are determined by individual needs, with successful outcomes for many people outside of these parameters).

It's also worth mentioning that, while age-related cataracts are the most common type, it’s not just a condition that affects a person during later years. There are also:

  • Congenital cataracts: These are present from birth and require a specialist pediatric ophthalmologist to treat. Not all require surgery, but when they do this is often carried out within the first few months after birth.
  • Traumatic cataracts: Eye trauma can cause cataracts to form. They often evolve very quickly, meaning surgery is needed to remove the diseased lens and replace it with an artificial one.
  • Other, atypical cataracts: Other types of less-common cataracts are those that form in younger people. Apart from resulting from trauma, these can occur due to severe eye infections or certain medical conditions. Examples include uncontrolled diabetes and hypoparathyroidism.

Although most cataracts evolve over many years—decades, even—other types can progress far more quickly. This is why regular eye exams are an essential element of health care. When spotted early, an ophthalmologist will monitor them and advise the optimal time for surgical intervention. 

Happily, as well as cataract surgery being the most common eye surgery performed in the world, it also has a virtually 100% success rate. Even in the small number of cases that experience postoperative issues, pretty much all of these can be overcome, leading to a positive outcome.

What is the Most Common Eye Surgery at the West Boca Eye Center?

The two specialties at the WBEC are cataract surgery and LASIK. This means, naturally, that they are the most performed procedures at the clinic—with the lead clinician, Dr. Brent Bellotte, being a global expert on both.

He’s well-respected around the world thanks to his dedication to the advancements of both. 

Discover more at or call today to talk to our friendly team.

What is the Most Common Eye Surgery?
What is the Most Common Eye Surgery?

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Specializing in modern cataract surgery.

Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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