Cataract Surgery - Side effects

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How has cataract surgery affected your vision?

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What are potential complications of cataract surgery?

While cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures available with a high rate of success, rare complications can arise. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the specific potential complications of the procedures that are unique to your eye prior to having you sign a consent form. The most common difficulties arising after surgery are persistent inflammation, changes in eye pressure, infection, or swelling of the retina at the back of the eye (cystoid macular edema), and retinal detachment. If the delicate bag the lens sits in is injured, then the artificial lens may need to be placed in a different location. In some cases, the intraocular lens moves or does not function properly and may need to be repositioned, exchanged, or removed. All of these complications are rare but can lead to significant visual loss; thus, close follow-up is required after surgery. If you have pre-existing macular degeneration or floaters, these will not be made better by cataract surgery.

In some cases, within months to years after surgery, the thin lens capsule may become cloudy, causing blurred vision after cataract surgery. You may have the sensation that the cataract is returning because your vision is becoming blurry again. This process is termed posterior capsular opacification, or a "secondary cataract." To restore vision, a laser is used in the office to painlessly create a hole in the cloudy bag. This procedure takes only a few minutes in the office, and vision usually improves rapidly.

Return to Cataract Surgery

See what others are saying

Comment from: Barbara1955, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 14

The anger, anxiety, confusion, and acting out are the worst of the symptoms of my thyroid storm. I felt hungry all the time and craved sweets. The anxiety has gotten so bad that I can't turn off even to sleep. The high anxiety levels, also reversed the hunger cravings, making eating difficult, with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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Comment from: GRACIE, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

After my surgery in my right eye I now have a spot in the center I can't see out of. I wish I didn't have the surgery. At least I could see a little of the whole picture.

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