Even though advances in eye care technology have made surgical procedures safer than ever, we always stress to patients that no surgery is free from potential risk. Complications can occur as patients recover, which makes following pre-operative and post-operative instructions so important.
Our team of ophthalmologists would like to look at the potential complications of cataract surgery. We feel that by giving patients all the information that they need concerning surgery, we'll be able to provide better care.
About Cataract Surgery
First off, let's go over the basics of cataract surgery. The procedure will involve the careful removal of the clouded lens of the eye so that the lens capsule -- a thin membrane that surrounds the natural lens of the eye -- remains intact. Once the natural lens is removed, our eye doctors will replace it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens or IOL. This will restore the patient's vision.
Posterior Capsule Opacity
One of the most common complications following cataract surgery is known as posterior capsule opacity. This refers to the appearance of a second cataract after the natural lens of the eye has been removed. Technically this clouding is not a second cataract, however, since a new cataract cannot form without a natural lens of the eye. Rather, the clouding is caused by the back of the lens capsule becoming opaque.
Dislocated Intraocular Lenses
Another potential complication after cataract surgery is dislocation of the IOL. This happens when the IOL becomes dislodged or the fibers of the lens capsule break. When the IOL is dislocated, it results in double vision or poor vision.
Other Cataract Surgery Complications
Some other complications that may occur after cataract surgery include:
- Corneal swelling
- Retinal swelling
- Heightened intraocular pressure
- Droopy eyelids
How common are complications following cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery complications are relatively rare so long as patients follow their pre-op and post-op instructions. The most common of the complications above, posterior capsule opacity, can occur in roughly 20% of patients, though its likelihood varies based on a number of factors.
How These Different Cataract Surgery Complications Can Be Addressed
There are plenty of options for addressing the above eye conditions following cataract surgery, and thankfully they tend to be minimally invasive and quite effective.
Posterior capsule opacity can be easily remedied through a procedure known as a YAG laser capsulotomy. This is a laser surgery that removes the clouded portion of the posterior lens capsule.
For dislocated IOLs, the ideal treatment is secondary surgery. This allows a surgeon to reposition an reattach the IOL as needed. The sooner that this can be done, the better it is for the patient.
As for the other complications, these can generally be addressed through minimally invasive means, such as the use of medications or simply increased focus on rest and healing.
Schedule a Consultation for Eye Care Treatment
If you would like to learn more about cataract surgery and your many other options for vision correction, be sure to contact our eye doctors in Wilmington, Delaware today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible vision in the process.