Cataract surgery is a common procedure, with over 4 million U.S. patients undergoing the operation each year. While the recovery process is different for everyone, there are some potential complications that can arise during and after the procedure. The current goal of cataract surgery is to remove the cataract and replace it with an intraocular lens, which is usually placed in the capsular pouch of the rear chamber.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the operation and the postoperative state. The most serious and dreaded risk, but fortunately rare (less than 1 per 1000 surgeries), is an infection inside the eye called endophthalmitis. Other possible side effects of cataract surgery range from mild eye inflammation to serious vision loss. Opacification of the posterior capsule (PCO) is another complication that can occur if some of the old cataract cells are not removed during surgery. Ocular hypertension, an increase in pressure in the eye, is one of the most common risks of cataract surgery. Surgery performed in ophthalmology camps or by an inexperienced trainee has been shown to be more likely to cause complications than surgery performed in the hospital by an experienced surgeon.
People with very myopic eyes or a history of premature retinopathy and who develop early cataracts have a higher risk of retinal detachment after surgery. Poor outcomes can also affect the sustainability of services; they discourage other patients from going to surgery and make patients even more reluctant to contribute to the cost of cataract operations. When complications from cataract surgery occur, most are minor and can be successfully treated by medical means or with additional procedures. Endophthalmitis is a serious complication of cataract surgery involving microorganisms that enter the eye. The most common complication of cataract surgery is inflammation of the cornea or the outer window of the eye.
Only one laser treatment is required to permanently eliminate vision loss caused by opacification of the back capsule after cataract surgery. In conclusion, while serious complications from cataract surgery are rare, it's important for patients to be aware of potential risks before undergoing this procedure. Patients should discuss any underlying eye disorders or conditions with their doctor before having cataract surgery, as these can increase their risk for complications. Additionally, it's important to make sure that your surgeon is experienced and qualified to perform this type of operation.