Cataract surgery is a common and successful procedure, but it can come with certain risks and complications. Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) is the most common complication of cataract surgery, occurring in 1 to 2 percent of all cases. Other potential complications include inflammation of the cornea, increased eye pressure, retinal detachment, and droopy eyelids. It's important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects of cataract surgery, as well as the ways to reduce them. PCO is a long-term consequence
of cataract surgerythat can begin to form any time after the procedure.
It is caused by the growth of cells on the back surface of the lens capsule, which can cause blurred vision and glare. The condition can be treated with laser surgery or medications. Inflammation of the cornea or outer window of the eye is another common complication of cataract surgery. This usually occurs up to 8 weeks after the procedure and can be treated with eye drops or other medications. Your doctor may also recommend that you temporarily stop taking any medications that may increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops or other medications to prevent infections, reduce inflammation, and control eye pressure.
Sometimes, these medications can be injected into the eye at the time of surgery. After the procedure, you usually stay at the doctor's office for about an hour to make sure your eye pressure doesn't increase. Retinal detachment (RD) is a rare but serious complication of cataract surgery. It occurs when the retina separates from its underlying layer of support tissue. Risk factors for RD include high myopia, trauma to the eye, and age-related macular degeneration.
It's important to talk to your doctor about any underlying conditions before deciding to have cataract surgery. Droopy eyelids (ptosis) can also result from trauma during cataract surgery and usually disappears within a few days or weeks. Very rarely, ptosis requires surgery. Endophthalmitis is another rare complication that can occur after cataract surgery. This is an infection inside the eye that can cause vision loss if not treated promptly. Cataract surgery has become increasingly safe over the past few decades due to advances in equipment, instrumentation, and techniques.
One study showed that out of 221,000 cataract surgery patients, 99.5 percent had no serious complications after surgery. However, it's important to be aware of potential risks and side effects so that they can be treated promptly if they occur.