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What Are the Most Common Cataract Surgery Complications?

Hazy, blurred vision may occur as a result of cataract surgery.
Cataracts occur when part of the eye is damaged and the eyes' lenses become cloudy.
Swollen eyelids are a common cataract surgery complication.
Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.
During cataract surgery, the lens of the eye is replaced with an intra-ocular lens implant.
In some cases, patients experience serious complications following cataract surgery.
An additional surgery may be needed to repair the damage of cataract surgery complications.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision impairment in elderly people.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
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Most cataract surgeries are successful in treating the condition, but there are some cataract surgery complications to be aware of. One of the most serious complications is called posterior capsule opacity, or PCO, which causes blurry vision after the surgery. There is also a risk of experiencing retinal detachment, infections, bleeding, or vision loss after undergoing cataract treatment. Additionally, there are various temporary symptoms that should go away shortly afterward, including redness, itchiness, blurry vision, and swollen eyelids.

One of the most common cataract surgery complications is posterior capsule opacity, also frequently called PCO. During cataract surgery, the lens of the eye is replaced with an intraocular lens implant, placing it into the original capsule in the eye. Unfortunately, the capsule may be damaged during the surgery, causing hazy, blurred vision instead of the clear vision that typically results. The good news is that this issue can be repaired with another surgery that just removes the capsule altogether, leading to clear vision in most cases.

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Other cataract surgery complications include those that are often risks after any surgery, such as excessive bleeding or infections. Loss of vision, double vision, or eye inflammation can also all occur, though such issues may sometimes be repaired with further surgery. One of the most serious and well-known cataract surgery complications is retinal detachment, which may not occur for several months after the operation. The most common symptoms of retinal detachment include a sudden increase in floaters and light flashes, as well as vision loss in one part of the eye. If caught early, this issue can usually be treated, but it may lead to total vision loss if ignored.

Like many other types of operations, there are some temporary cataract surgery complications that may occur afterward. For example, some patients may notice blurry vision directly after the surgery, but it should clear up soon after, resulting in clearer vision than before the operation. Additionally, the eyes may feel itchy and seem like they are stuck closed, and some patients also sometimes feel pain or discomfort for the first few weeks after the operation. Another one of the most common temporary cataract surgery complications is redness of the eyes, usually along with a feeling that there is debris in them. The good news is that these symptoms usually disappear within weeks or even days of the surgery, and can often be treated by an eye doctor if they seem to persist.

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ddljohn
Post 3

I was near-sighted before cataract removal surgery and now I'm long-sighted. My vision is still better than it was before though. Plus, cataracts can cause blindness in the long term.

stoneMason
Post 2

@fify-- What type of cataract surgery did you have?

What you're experiencing is normal after cataract surgery and it is true that vision will improve within the first two months post surgery. Some minor problems such as astigmatism may remain though and if you choose to, you can get laser surgery to fix that.

Some types of cataract surgery have more complications than others. For example, if you have a new lens inserted, you might have some issues while adjusting to the new lens.

fify
Post 1

I have bad vision post my cataract surgery, but my doctor said that it should resolve within a month. I hope that will be the case.

Right now, I have blurry vision, as well as halos and floaters. Sometimes I see ghost-like images and then they disappear. I hope I don't need another surgery.

Is anyone else in the same situation?

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