A cataract is a clouding of the Crystalline Lens in your eye. It causes blurred vision, and is a common problem experienced by millions. Houston cataract surgeon Dr. Goosey has performed countless procedures, and believes education about potential problems is important for those about to undergo cataract treatment.
Problems during or after a cataract procedure are extremely rare, occurring in less than 5% of healthy patients. The overall satisfaction rate is 95%, but no matter how routine, there are always obstacles which can arise through any type of surgery. In cataract surgery, there can be short or long term complications.
Short Term Complications
- Bleeding – Bleeding in the back of the eye is quite rare. Bleeding in the front can be cauterized immediately during the procedure.
- Bruising – Also known as ‘Black Eye’, bruising is usually the result of an injection around the eye. Black Eye will fade away in a short period of time.
- Incision Leak – Small incisions made during the surgery usually heal themselves. In some instances however, they don’t, and the eye can be exposed to infection. When this happens, the surgeon will apply a lens, bandage, or stitch to help the cut heal.
- Endophthalmitis – Referred to as an ‘Inner Eye Infection’, this happens only once in every several thousand patients. Antibiotic eye drops before, during, and after the surgery should take care of this problem.
- Tearing of the Posterior Capsule – Sometimes the posterior lens will rip during surgery. When this occurs, the surgeon will perform a Vitrectomy to properly set the lens into the proper position.
- Retinal Detachment – Symptoms are floaters, shadows, flashing lights, and a general loss of vision. If any of these symptoms appear, inform your surgeon immediately. The quicker the better, because a detached retina can be a medical emergency. If caught quickly, it is easily repaired.
- Glaucoma – Secondary glaucoma after surgery is temporary. It can be treated with eye drops, laser treatment, or a combination of both.
- Astigmatism – Stitches or sutures can sometimes cause the cornea to heal improperly. Once they are removed, it will return to its original state.
Long Term Complications
These are problems that usually last anywhere from 1 week to 6 months. There are three major types.
- Dislocated Intraocular Lens Implant – This takes place when the lens used to correct your sight becomes de-centered. It can either be re-centered or replaced completely.
- Cystoid Macular Edema – An edema transpires when the visual center of the retina, or macula, becomes swelled. It is treated with oral pills or eye drops.
- Secondary Cataract – This is the most common complication. The lens becomes cloudy again, causing blurred vision. It is treated with a quick and painless laser treatment.
Complications arising from cataract surgery are extremely infrequent and almost always easy to repair. Dr. Goosey is an experienced, well respected Houston cataract surgeon. Educating patients on the problems and symptoms is key to getting any complications fixed. If you live in or near Houston and require cataract surgery, Dr. Goosey is more than willing to explain the pros and cons. Contact our office today and schedule your consultation!