Cataract Surgery Complications

As with all surgical procedures, complications with cataract surgery are possible. These are usually classified as minor or major. Most minor complications are temporary and are often easily treated. Examples include double vision, droopy eyelid, and increased pressure in the eye. Major complications with this type of surgery are rare and may include severe infection, detached retina, and swelling.

Understanding Complications With Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a usually a safe and effective procedure. Unlike a few decades ago, there is no need for prolonged bed rest and hospitalization. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are some possible cataract surgery complications that can develop.
 
Complications that can occur with this procedure are classified as minor or major.
 

Minor Cataract Surgery Complications

In most cases, minor complications of cataract surgery are temporary and are often easily treated by your healthcare provider with medication, extra visits, or additional surgery.
 
Possible minor complications include but are not limited to:
 
  • Increased pressure within the eye
  • Double vision
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Wound leaks
  • Clouding behind the lens capsule (also known as a secondary cataract)
  • Equipment failure.
     

Major Complications Seen With Cataract Surgery

Major cataract surgery complications are rare. These problems occur in fewer than 1 out of 100 patients, and in many studies, these complications were not reported at all. In some cases, these problems may occur weeks, months, or even years later.
 
Possible major complications include but are not limited to:
 
  • Severe infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Displacement of the implanted lens
  • Detachment of the retina
  • Perforation, or a hole in the eye
  • Damage to the cornea
  • Reaction to medication or anesthesia.
 
Depending on the situation, a major complication may require a repeat cataract surgery or may lead to poor vision, including an astigmatism, blurry vision, double vision, glaucoma, or, in extreme cases:
 
  • A corneal transplant
  • Permanent loss of vision
  • Loss of the eye
  • Loss of life.
 

Cataract Surgery Info

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