Robert had an unusually extreme amount of farsightedness, combined with early cataracts in both eyes. For him, the clear choice was to perform cataract surgery with lens implantation.
LASIK, while an excellent surgical option for mild to moderate farsightedness, is not my first choice for higher amounts of farsightedness, especially in this age range.
While we do perform LASIK typically for both eyes at the same time, this is not done for cataract surgery. We typically can schedule the two surgeries several weeks apart.
Cataract surgery, properly performed, is one of the safest of all surgical procedures, and has very high success rates, approaching 99%. Robert's example is quite typcial. In addition to removing the cataract, proper calculation of the lens implant strength allows us to dramatically reduce or sometimes completely eliminate any pre-existing prescription.
In Robert's case, the prescription after cataract surgery enabled him to have very decent vision without correction, though it wasn't "crystal" clear. In July of '02 he inquired whether LASIK could 'fine-tune' the vision, and I told him that it definitely could. Being a perfectionist, he asked me to proceed and we did so.
After LASIK in August '02, Robert's unaided distance vision is now a clear "20/20" in each eye, and he is delighted that he needs no correction for distance and only dimestore reading glasses for near.