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: min, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I wore glasses all my life, had both cataracts removed within 1 month. I started having vision problems with right eye, so I went back to see the doctor for what I thought was a checkup and without telling me they took me into the room and before I knew it he had done laser procedure in right eye. It has been 2 years and I am still seeing an eye doctor with problems, floaters, blurry vision, and watery eyes. In my opinion the cataract doctor did something wrong and that is why I am having all these problems.

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Comment from: redtwinsmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I had my cataract surgery on both eyes in July 2015 two weeks apart. Prior to the surgery I could read without glasses and my eyes felt fine, but I drive at night and sometimes would see halos. After the surgery I was faithful using the 3 types of eye drops, not wearing makeup or using hairspray, etc. Now it is November and my sight is terrible. I can't see a thing without glasses anymore. My eyes feel fuzzy and itchy all the time and I'd say I am 75 percent worse than I was before the surgery. I am very unhappy about it. I went in for a 3 month checkup and the doctor was very arrogant, saying everybody needs glasses to read after cataract surgery. My 78 year old mother wore glasses for years, had cataract surgery, and then didn't need glasses anymore! I wonder if my surgeon used some cheap lens. This is a huge hit to my quality of life and I wish I'd never had it done.

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