Cataract surgery is popular because of its low-risk nature as one of the safest surgical procedures. Yet, it is a very effective medical procedure when correcting the lens of your eye, and it proceeds without any severe complications. In addition, cataract surgery has a success rate of up to 98%, which is a very favorable rate when correcting vision issues.
However, it is vital to remain aware of cataract surgery’s key benefits and risks and see ways to limit the latter further. Therefore, a professional eye surgeon also informs the patient about the possibility of these events when undergoing an eye procedure called cataract surgery.
Some problems with cataract surgery Sydney happen when the patient already has an eye disorder that can affect how well they see after surgery. A complication can also occur during recovery if there is an underlying health condition. For example, one of the eye conditions that could be the aftermath of cataract surgery is endophthalmitis.
One of the visual outcomes after the surgery may be posterior capsule opacification. But the risk of any of the two risks or other complications is shallow after cataract surgery. The operated eye from where the cataract is removed may require a tiny hole or small incision during the surgery.
How Safe is Cataract surgery?
The Havard Medical school described cataract surgery as a “low-risk, fast, and effective” remedy for eye conditions. A study showed that it has a high success and safety rate after the eye procedure of up to 98% having no issues. The process may also involve an ultrasound probe using ultrasound waves.
Despite this vast rate, there are still some risks in the remaining 2% that patients must be aware of. Corrective surgery or other treatment may be done if any complication occurs to restore things to normal vision. The lens is integral to perfect vision; cataract surgery can fix it in a few weeks or months.
Below is a list of possible risks that could occur when patients undergo cataract surgery
- Secondary cataract
- Eye Infection
- Droopy eyelids
- Loss of vision
- Retinal detachment
- Dislocation of the artificial lens
A professional cataract surgeon can only conduct a cloudy natural lens implant using the laser beam. He first discusses different cataracts and the surgery options to restore the eye.
What causes Cataract Surgery risks?
Any risks may occur after the surgery if patients have other eye or medical conditions. For example, the affected eye may have a higher risk of complications after the surgery. Therefore, the best way to prevent infection and other risks is to inform the eye surgeon of these conditions before the cataract surgery.
Before diving into the details of some of these eye conditions, remember that cataract surgery is imperfect. Cataract surgery restores a perfect shape to the natural lens of a patient. Only in some exceptional cases do patients have to use an artificial lens. A patient may only need eye drops and not even surgery at all.
For instance, macular degeneration or glaucoma could cause further damage to the eye. Now let us discuss some of the critical risks of cataract surgery. The patient may get an instant clear vision or need to wear glasses for recovery. It could be a cloudy lens, a clear artificial lens, or even a replacement of the natural cloud lens.
Common Risks of Cataract surgery
Endophthalmitis is one of the infections that could affect the eye after undergoing cataract surgery. This eye condition is often possibly caused by two bacteria, namely staphylococcus or streptococcal bacteria. However, both bacteria can be found on human skin and could find their way into the eye. This complication may lead to blurry vision after the cataract surgery.
The bacteria infection may occur about a week after the cataract surgery. Some of the symptoms of this infection include itching of the eyes, pain, redness of the eye, or total loss of vision. Patients may also experience some yellow charge from the infected eye. In addition, cataracts could have led to cloudy vision or, in some cases, distance vision problems.
Records have shown a very low probability of occurrence of endophthalmitis. But if it does, the patient must immediately seek medical attention. Otherwise, if the infection is untreated, it may lead to a complete loss of vision. Direct injection of antibiotics can correct the eye or combine surgery.
The detachment of the retina is another risk that may occur with cataract surgery. In this condition, the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue, gets a hole. This hole or tear causes it to detach from the wall of the eye, leading to access to blood circulation that could keep the cells alive.
Without the blood supply, the retina cells die off and fail to regenerate. At this point, you may experience blurred vision with a need to improve your vision. However, the patient could lose the eye entirely, except for a quick intervention to remedy the situation. The retina is vital as it processes information by allowing light to pass through and communicate with the brain.
This condition is likely to occur in only 1 out of 3000 cataract surgeries. Meanwhile, the solution is surgery for its low, according to reports of cataract forms. The eye doctor can also get the patient a new lens that corrects the eye defect or serve as a protective shield.
Posterior Capsule Opacification
Another common risk of cataract surgery is posterior capsule opacification or PCO. PCO can also be referred to as a secondary cataract because of its symptoms. But it is not another cataract because a cataract does not regrow when it has been removed.
During cataract surgery, the eye surgeon removes the lens of the natural eye. Then he replaces it with an intraocular lens. Remember that cataracts are the protein clumps on the eye lens. Therefore, the lens capsule, the thin transparent membrane covering the natural lens, cannot be affected by the surgery.
Reports showed that the posterior part of the lens capsule turns hazy during the recovery period. This case occurs because the lens’ epithelial cells regrow over the capsule. In such a case, it causes posterior lens capsule opacity.
Dislocated Intraocular Lens
Cataract surgery patients may also suffer the risk of a dislocated intraocular lens. This malpositioned lens may lead to seeing double vision due to the visible lens edge implant that is visible. This condition affects visual acuity significantly. The rarity of this condition further proves cataract surgery is a safe procedure.
Different studies have attempted to examine the probability of this risk concerning years after the surgery. Results show that there is a low risk of late-stage intraocular dislocation. For instance, The risk level is about 0.1% a decade after the surgery. After two decades, the risk is 0.7% ad becomes 1.75% after 25 years of the cataract surgery.
Cataract causes vision impairment by tampering with the way the lens functions. The corrective cataract surgery may involve a YAG laser capsulotomy, which removes the lens capsule and the scar tissue. After the cataract surgery, the eye heals in about a month, especially for an outpatient procedure. Patients may also have a new artificial lens without applying any eye pressure.
Finally, many patients who choose the cataract surgery procedure have had to deal with many conditions. Due to the high success rate, the patient can fully recover without complications. In case of any difficulties, patients should return to see the doctor and get their vision restored. Most patients who need cataract surgery may require a follow-up appointment with the surgeon before resuming normal activities. Generally, recovering patients must avoid rubbing so as not to cause other eye problems.
More to read: Frequently asked questions on laser eye surgery