What Are the Potential Complications of Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a common and successful procedure to improve vision, but it is important to be aware of the potential complications that can occur. CME, or cystoid macular edema, is the most common complication after uncomplicated cataract surgery, with its peak incidence occurring 6 to 8 weeks after the operation. PCO, or posterior capsule opacification, is another common complication that can occur weeks, months, or even years after cataract surgery. This occurs when the lens capsule, which holds the new intraocular lens in place, becomes cloudy or wrinkled and begins to cloud vision.

It is caused by cells growing in the membrane over time, similar to scar tissue. Infections after cataract surgery are rare, but if they do occur, an injection of antibiotics in the eye is usually necessary. Retinal detachment is another potential complication that can occur after cataract surgery. This occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye and can cause symptoms such as light sensitivity and pain.

It usually resolves on its own within a few months. Increased eye pressure and glaucoma are other potential complications of cataract surgery. Swelling, bleeding, or excess lens fragments can cause increased pressure on the eye and lead to glaucoma. In some cases, sunglasses may be necessary for a few months until these symptoms resolve.

Eye drops may also be necessary if there is excessive eye inflammation. It is important to evaluate and treat any other eye problems before undergoing cataract surgery as it may not improve vision if there is underlying eye damage caused by other conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Additionally, some medications for prostate problems may interfere with cataract surgery so it is important to tell your doctor if you take any such medications.

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