Cataract surgery lead-up
I went in today for measurements. I swear that those machines must operate on Bayesian principles. The priors are easy: either the ophthalmologist’s own judgment or the average of the most recent n patients with a similar complaint (n=10, say). Then the machine makes a lot of measurements quickly, and each observation can be used to adjust the probabilities of the actual situation—sort of like the search algorithms I’m reading about now in The Theory That Would Not Die (and I’m amazed at the number of serious accidents and losses the USAF had regarding nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, including dusting some fields in Spain with plutonium: a terrible record, which is why they went to such lengths to keep it all a secret from the American people—our government seems really reluctant to allow citizens to know what it’s doing, have you noticed?)
At any rate, I got the measurements made and I can pick up the various eyedrops I’ll need from my pharmacist. No further action until the day before the surgery (surgery is 16 Nov).
The technician was marveling at how opaque and large was the cataract in my right eye, and also marveled when I told her how I had been consistently advised to avoid having surgery and simply wait while the cataract grew until it became absolutely intolerable. What is the medical thinking in that recommendation, I wonder? The same person who made the recommendation, when I asked about the risks of the surgery, assured me that the surgery was simple and virtually always trouble-free: an outpatient procedure readily done.
So why wait? Why the consistent advice to let the cataract get worse? I don’t get it. I suspect that it might have been the adviser projecting their own fears about eye surgery, but it doesn’t seem to be based on anything logical.