New York Cataract Surgeon Satish Modi, M.D. discussed cataract surgery complications.
“For routine cataract surgery in healthy patients the complication rate is quite minimal-in fact well under 5%. Of course this can depend on the experience level of the cataract surgeon as well as whether you have diabetic eye disease, glaucoma or other types of health or eye problems,” explained Dr. Modi of Seeta Eye Centers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “Further, we are now using the bladeless laser cataract surgery technique, in addition to doing everything we would normally do, to reduce the risk of complications even more. Considering the significant vision and lifestyle improvements that cataract surgery and lens implants deliver for patients, the risk of complications is really quite low,” emphasized Dr. Modi.
Even though cataract surgery complications are typically pretty minimal, it is important that patients thinking about any type of eye surgery have some idea of the types of complications that could possibly be encountered.
Within the first 24-48 hours after a cataract operation, it is possible, but very unusual to experience some bleeding inside the eye, a little bleeding on the surface of the eye or an inner eye infection which is also quite rare. Sometimes, if your cataract surgeon needed to anesthetize the eye using an injection you may have a little “black and blue” eye or an eyelid bruise. This usually clears up pretty quickly. Sometimes the “capsule” around the crystalline lens that is removed as part of the operation might be broken during the surgery and it might be necessary to do a “vitrectomy” as part of the surgery to get a good result. This too is pretty unusual. In very nearsighted patients, although again infrequently, a retinal detachment might occur. Occasionally in patients who have had “no stitch” cataract surgery the actual incision may leak. If this happens it is sometimes necessary for your cataract surgeon to put a stitch in place to tightly close the incision. “With bladeless laser cataract surgery we are able to make absolutely perfect incisions with the laser each and every time we operate-making the possibility of this type of wound leak even more remote,” noted Dr. Modi.
There are a few types of complications that can occur over a longer period of time after cataract surgery. These include that very rarely the intraocular lens implant (IOL) can move off center or the center of the retina can swell. By far the most common side effect is a clouding of the lens capsule that has been left in place to support the lens implant. "This is an eventual side effect of surgery that happens after virtually every cataract procedure. If one waits long enough, it happens after every cataract surgery, its just a question of when," remarked Dr. Modi. This side effect is pretty easily managed right in the office with a quick, painless procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy that restores the vision almost immediately after the procedure.
Although it might sound like there are lots of possible complications of cataract surgery, rest assured they are quite unusual. This most common one of capsule opacity is easily treated. If you need cataract surgery it is important to be knowledgeable so you appreciate the degree of skill and experience required of your cataract surgeon to help you get the best result.
If you or someone you know has Cataracts and has questions about Cataract Surgery and Lens Implant complications please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling Seeta Eye Centers at 845-454-1025 , visiting Seeta Eye Centers or facebook.com/seetaeyecenters
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