Cataracts are cloudy developments that occur on the normally clear lenses of the eyes. These developments materialize slowly over time and make it difficult for patients to see. Cataract surgery removes these cloudy developments, which restores patients’ visual clarity.
The Peña Eye Institute offers precision cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants for patients living with cataracts in Harlingen, TX. With advanced technology and quality implants, patients not only restore their visual clarity, but they vastly improve their visual acuity, too.
Every surgery comes with its risks, and cataract surgery is no exception. Here, our team will discuss cataract surgery risks and complications, and what we can do to mitigate them.
Common Risks and Complications
Some common risks and complications following cataract surgery may include:
- Inflammation, swelling, and pressure
- Dry or itchy eyes
Cataract surgery complications are rare, as research suggests that 99.5% of patients do not have serious complications following the procedure. Patients can usually manage minor postoperative complications with over-the-counter or prescription treatments. However, some serious complications may require more aggressive treatments.
Serious Risks and Complications
Serious risks and complications following cataract surgery may include:
- Retained lens fragments
- Posterior capsular opacification
- Cystoid macular edema
- Intraocular lens dislocation
- Retinal detachment
- Capsular contraction syndrome
Retained Lens Fragments
When small pieces of the natural lens remain in the eye, patients may experience increased light sensitivity and blurry vision. A secondary surgery can remove these fragments and restore proper vision.
Posterior Capsular Opacification
Tiny bubbles can get trapped underneath intraocular lens implants, resulting in blurry vision and light sensitivity. A laser capsulotomy procedure easily corrects this issue.
Cystoid Macular Edema
This condition is due to prolonged swelling and fluid buildup in the eye. Treatment usually requires topical steroids over the course of two months.
Intraocular Lens Dislocation
The intraocular lens implant that Dr. Peña uses to replace a patient’s natural lens may shift after cataract surgery, resulting in blurred vision. A corrective surgery can move the implant into the proper position.
Retinal detachment is a serious condition in which the tissue at the back of the eye pulls away from its natural position. This results in flashes, floaters, and/or narrowing vision. Permanent vision loss is a real threat without immediate surgical intervention.
Capsular Contraction Syndrome
This extremely rare condition results when some of the natural lens material remains in the eye after cataract surgery. The remaining material causes the protective epithelial layer of the eye to contract and bunch, which alters the shape of the intraocular lens implant. Strategically placed incisions can help smooth the epithelial layer and restore normal vision.
Risk Factors for Serious Complications
Certain medical conditions, medications, and previous procedures may increase the likelihood of developing serious complications following cataract surgery, such as:
- History of past eye surgeries
- Alpha-blockers, like Tamsulosin
Additionally, patients over the age of 60 are more likely to experience postoperative complications. To mitigate these risks, our Harlingen patients must disclose their full medical history and medication list to Dr. Peña before proceeding with cataract surgery.
Schedule a Cataract Surgery Consultation
Dr. Peña and his skilled team avoid serious complications during and after cataract surgery by implementing advanced technology and techniques. To verify your cataract surgery candidacy, send a message to the Peña Eye Institute, or call our Harlingen office at (956) 264-1200.