Possible Complications of Cataract Surgery

Serious complications following cataract extraction are not common because of the significant surgical advances in recent years.  However, if complications do occur, vision may be impaired or even lost. Some people with pre-existing syndromes are at greater risk, so be certain to give your ophthalmologist your complete medical history.  Smoking, obesity and other significant medical problems can cause great risks of complications. The following possible complications are listed to inform you and not to alarm you.  There may be other complications that are not listed.

  • Infection inside the eye.
  • Bleeding and blood collection within the eye.
  • Excessive inflammation.
  • High pressure within the eye.
  • Retained piece of cataract in the eye.
  • Damage to, or dislocation of, the artificial lens.
  • Detachment of the retina.
  •   Drooping eyelid.
  • Swelling and clouding of the cornea.
  • Rarely, blindness and loss of the operated eye.  Rarely, the un-operated eye may become inflamed, with partial or total loss of vision (“sympathetic ophthalmia”).
  • Further surgery (for example, removal of the lens implant). Although most complications resolve following additional treatment and over time, they can affect vision, sometimes permanently.

Signs and Symptoms after Surgery

Be sure to tell your ophthalmologist if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Fever more than 38C
  •  Chills
  • Increasing redness of the eye
  • Increasingly blurred or disturbed vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive coughing
  • Pain that is not relieved by non prescription medications such as paracetamol
  • Any other concerns regarding your surgery.


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