Cataract surgery has a long track record of safely and effectively correcting the vision problems caused by cataracts. In the United States alone, more than 3 million patients undergo cataract surgery every year, the vast majority of whom end up with clear vision that either reduces or eliminates the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

As with any operation, cataract surgery carries a degree of risk. Complications from cataract surgery are rare, and ICON’s ophthalmologists will discuss these contingencies with you prior to performing the procedure. In most cases, the risks of cataract surgery can be mitigated by taking certain precautionary steps.

  • After surgery, patients will be prescribed special eye drops that help fight infection and inflammation, and should always use them as instructed.
  • To avoid causing irritation, patients should also refrain from touching or rubbing their eyes after surgery.

Potential Side-Effects

Potential risks include increases in eye pressure, infection, dislocated lenses, development of a posterior capsule (which may mimic the symptoms of cataracts) corneal swelling and the need for additional procedures.

Fluid build-up may occur, but can be treated with eye drops or, in severe cases, a steroid.

Some potential side-effects of cataract surgery warrant immediate attention from a specialist. If a patient notices a sudden burst of darks specks, floaters, or flashes of light streaming across their line of vision, they should consult their doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate a retinal detachment — a serious medical condition that must be treated promptly.

In general, side effects tend to be minor and short-term. However, if your vision doesn’t show significant improvement or you experience severe pain, contact your eye doctor immediately.

Cataract Surgery and Diabetes

The potential for complications is increased for cataract patients with diabetes, as they are particularly prone to diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. However, with proper pre- and post-operative care by an experienced surgeon, diabetes patients can achieve the same results as patients without the disease.

These risks notwithstanding, cataract surgery ranks as one of the safest, most common and most effective medical procedures available. Our expert team of cataract surgeons are specially trained and experienced in addressing surgical side effects and will be happy to answer your questions about them, during your consultation appointment.

To ensure the best possible outcomes, the surgeons at ICON Eyecare make their incisions with the LenSx Cataract Laser and then use Intraoperative Aberrometry, a computer-assisted laser system, for increased precision. This cutting-edge technology makes an already safe procedure even safer for our patients.

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