Cataract surgery complications

Cataract surgery is generally a safe surgery to have. However, people who have cataract surgery can sometimes experience complications after surgery. Although it is extremely rare cataract surgery complications do happen for some people. These complications can be classified as either minor and temporary or major and permanent. These cataract surgery complications can include such thing as infection, bleeding, double vision and complete loss of vision in the eye, retinal detachment etc. Sometimes cataract surgery complications can also include severe inflammation and fluctuating eye pressure.

One of the complications of cataract surgery is a fluid leak that seeps into the eye and can happen through a tear in the retina which can cause retinal detachment. When this happens the retina will detach from the back of the eye. Retinal detachment can occur in about one half of 1% of all cataract surgery patients. It should be noted that cataract surgery is not the only cause of retinal detachment. Patients who have had previous eye surgeries for other reasons can also experience retinal detachment. When a retinal detachment occurs the person will see flashes of light or dark spots in their field of vision.

Secondary cataracts can also happen and it is one of the cataract surgery complications that is considered to be minor. A secondary cataract is a caused by a clouding behind the lens capsule. This condition is also known as a “capsule opafication” or “aftercataracts.” It involves the part of the lens that was not removed during the first surgery. This part of the lens is what supports the lens implant. This condition can be treated quickly with a laser called an yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG). This is a quick and painless procedure and can be finished in less than five minutes.

The major cataract surgery complications that occur are very rare. However, these complications can show up weeks, months or even years later. Major complications may require repeat surgery. The patient may sometimes develop glaucoma, an astigmatism or permanent blurry or double vision. The cataract surgery patient may end up needing a corneal transplant due to cataract surgery complications. In extreme cases cataracts surgery complications can lead to the loss of the eye and even the loss of life. However this is extremely rare.

Cystoid macula edema is also another of the rare cataract surgery complications. This involves a swelling in the layer of nerve cells that cover the back of the eye. When this happens it can cause decreased vision in the center of the eye. The cause of macula edema is that the blood vessels in the retina have swollen to the point of leakage. Testing can be done to determine the extent of the swelling and the complication can be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops. The eye doctor can also inject steroids into the back of the eye to treat this swelling.

Other cataract surgery complications are eye infections inside of the eye. These are called Endophthalmitus. There will be a lot of pain and excessive swelling and redness in the eye and extreme sensitivity to light if an infection developes. The patient may suffer loss of vision because of the infection. Antibiotic eye drops are used to prevent this complication. Still, about one in every 3000 patients can develop endophthalmitis as a result of having cataract surgery. Elderly patients can also experience Choroidal hemorrhages as well as other cataract surgery complications. This condition is a hemorrhage of the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina that begin to bleed excessively during surgery. If you have recently had cataract surgery and are experiencing any of the complications listed you should call your eye doctor immediately. Acting quickly when any of these complications appear may help save your eyesight and even your life.

Last updated on Nov 1st, 2009 and filed under Vision Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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