Our Process, in Four Steps

  1. We help identify needy patients in communities across the United States.
  2. We work with patients to qualify them for charitable surgery.
  3. We match eligible patients with volunteer surgeons in their communities.
  4. We help with pre-op exams and scheduling
    for surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have cataract surgery?

Because even less severe cataracts can make simple everyday activities (e.g., cooking, driving, interacting with loved ones) more complicated, and over time, if left untreated, cataracts can lead to eventual blindness. Cataract surgery is also one of the safest, most effective, and most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States.

What is Operation Sight?

Operation Sight is the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation’s U.S-based charitable cataract surgery program. The program matches eligible patients with volunteer surgeons who are members of the Operation Sight Network. The Operation Sight Network includes volunteer surgeons from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and other established charitable organizations. Operation Sight strives to provide accessible care in the home communities of eligible patients.

How do I apply to become a patient for charitable cataract surgery?

Patients can apply through the Operation Sight charitable cataract surgery patient inquiry form at

How long will it take a patient to receive charitable cataract surgery through Operation Sight after applying?

Operation Sight charitable surgeries are done by volunteer surgeons at their own facilities, and must be worked into the existing surgical schedule. Some may happen quickly, others may require a wait of several months. There is no single set timeframe for when an approved applicant will receive surgery. It depends on the location of the patient and the availability of a volunteer surgeon in the patient’s home city or town.

How does Operation Sight financially qualify a patient to receive charitable cataract surgery?

When applying to become an Operation Sight patient, you will be asked to document your household income. To be eligible for the Operation Sight program, a patient must show annual household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Proof of income can be submitted in the form of a W-2 or monthly paystub, or through your annual tax return.

What happens if the initial exam indicates that the patient has another condition, such as glaucoma?

At this point in time, the Operation Sight program is only for cataract surgery. If the surgeon determines that the patient is not a good candidate for surgery due to another condition, the patient will – unfortunately – not be eligible for the Operation Sight program.

Does the patient supply their own transportation?

Yes, the patient is responsible for getting to and from the office/surgery center for both pre- and post-op exams and the surgery.

Who performs the cataract surgery?

The Operation Sight network program includes a network of established charitable organizations and ASCRS (American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery) member volunteer surgeons who perform the surgeries.

Where does the surgery take place?

The surgery typically takes place at the ambulatory surgery center used by the volunteer surgeon.

Who is responsible for the post-op care?

The volunteer surgeon/practice will provide routine follow-on care for a 90-day period following cataract surgery. After the 90-day period, if additional post-op care is required, it then becomes the responsibility of the patient.

Have more questions? Please contact us at (703) 591-2220.