Complications to expect after a cataract surgery

Cataract surgery is an extremely frequent outpatient treatment that is typically safe. However, like with any surgical operation, there is a possibility of complications.

The body is made up of a variety of proteins that comprise the tissues, muscles, and even the blood. Particular proteins can accumulate in certain locations over time or as a result of certain damage.

When cataracts develop in your eye, proteins in the lens of the eye degrade and form clumps, resulting in cloudiness that can impair or impede vision.

The solution is a surgical procedure in which the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. When cataracts begin to impair everyday activities, your physician may propose cataract surgery.

Complications include the following: edema; discomfort; infection; and adverse responses to anesthetic medicines.


Any surgical operation might result in complications. There are a number of particular problems associated with cataract surgery that your surgeon will be aware of.

1. Discomfort

Pain is a common complication of the majority of surgical operations. Because cataract surgery primarily affects the surface layers of the eye, over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient. Consult your physician if the discomfort persists or worsens. This might indicate the presence of a more significant issue.

2. Suffocation

Suprachoroidal hemorrhage can develop during cataract surgery in patients with diabetes, hypertension, or other pre-existing disorders. Although this problem is uncommon, it requires prompt attention to avert visual loss.

3. Contamination

Most surgeries involve some risk of infection due to surgical instruments, the surgeon’s skill, or postoperative wound care.

Endophthalmitis is a kind of infection that may occur following cataract surgery. It is, however, uncommon, occurring in less than 0.5 percent of cataract procedures.

4. Persistent or new vision impairments

Cataract surgery is not always effective, and you may continue to have vision difficulties or worsen your vision following surgery. This is an uncommon complication, although it is more prevalent in patients who had other eye disorders in addition to cataracts prior to surgery.

Double vision, which is often transient, can also occur following eye surgery as your brain adjusts to a new, sharper image.

5. Floaters 

Floaters are microscopic protein or collagen particles that can enter your field of vision and produce shadows. While floating does not usually require treatment, it can occasionally be an indication of a more serious disease.

6. Itchy or dry eyes

Dryness and irritation are frequent throughout the healing process. Itchy, gritty, or dry eyes are possible. Your doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops to alleviate this issue. Consult your doctor on the appropriate time to use eye drops following cataract surgery.

7. Allergy symptoms

General anesthesia is seldom used during cataract surgery and is mainly reserved for young patients. To numb the eye, either topical anaesthetic provided by eye drops or local anesthetic administered via injection may be employed.

Consult your physician before surgery if you are allergic to any medications.

8. Irritation

While not considered a real complication, but rather an expected outcome, “cell and flare” refers to inflammation induced by minor damage to the eye following an s.

When your surgeon makes contact with your eye, a tiny number of white blood cells or protein may accumulate in the front chamber, resulting in impaired vision or increased sensitivity to light. This is a transient ailment that can be addressed with topical steroids. You can read about 8 Cataract surgery tips you should know of by visiting

9. Edema of the cornea

Again, this is a normal outcome of surgery, but one that may be cause for concern. Swelling of the cornea can occur anywhere following surgery but is more common near the location of the incision. Topical steroids can be used to alleviate edema in this situation.

10. Heightened pressure

Up to half of patients who undergo cataract surgery will feel an increase in ocular pressure following the treatment, however, this often resolves within 24 hours.

Following surgery, persistent difficulties with increased or reduced eye pressure may be connected to other eye disorders, such as glaucoma.

11. Prolapse of the iris

In rare instances, surgery may result in iris trauma, leading to a prolapsed iris. This is occasionally associated with inadequate wound closure or healing at incision sites, or with prolonged periods of elevated intraocular pressure.

Sometimes the iris can be moved, but in more severe situations, more surgery will be necessary.

12. Leaks from wounds

Wound leaks are another uncommon problem that occurs when fluid seeps around the incision sites. These leaks are identified with fluorescein dye and are often treated with steroids.

Your doctor may put a bandage contact lens or undertake corrective surgery in some circumstances to resolve the issue.

13. Syndrome of the toxic anterior segment

Severe swelling and discomfort in the days following cataract surgery may be indicative of this condition. Toxic anterior segment syndrome is an extremely uncommon illness that is frequently caused by infected surgical instruments or eye drops.

This illness, which can be difficult to distinguish from endophthalmitis, is treated with high dosages of steroids and analgesics.

14. Acute endophthalmitis in its early stages

This is another form of infection that can arise three to seven days after surgery and causes swelling and discomfort. Steroids are ineffective in treating this eye infection. It is often treated with antibiotics or sent to a specialist.

15. Lens fragments retained

In certain instances, little fragments of your native lens may remain following cataract surgery. These symptoms may manifest themselves days or even years later in the form of: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Tearing 
  • Flushing

If lens pieces are found to be the source of the problem, they should be surgically removed – ideally by the physician who conducted the treatment originally.

16. Opacification of the posterior capsular layer

This is a rather common late complication that occurs in between 14 and 60% of cataract surgery procedures. This disorder, which is more prevalent in patients with diabetes or who have had prior eye surgery, leads in the production of microscopic particles stuck in the layer behind the lens.

These particles combine to produce small transparent bubbles known as Elschnig’s pearls. This issue can be resolved with a surgery called laser posterior capsulotomy.

17. Edema cystoid macular

This is the most often occurring complication of most cataract surgery procedures and can occur up to eight weeks following the treatment. It happens in around 1% to 2% of all cataract operations.

Swelling is caused by an accumulation of fluid in the eye, which can impair vision. Topical steroid and nonsteroidal medications are typically used to treat this disease, which can last up to two months.

Can diabetic patients go for cataract surgery?

Diabetes is becoming an increasingly frequent systemic condition, and many cataract surgery patients also have a diabetic eye disease, which complicates the procedure. However, while we can still get outstanding outcomes with cataract surgery, these individuals are at a higher risk of problems and later visual restrictions as a result of the procedure. Diabetic individuals can have great eyesight after cataract surgery provided they have meticulous preoperative planning, meticulous attention to detail during phacoemulsification, and attentive postoperative management.

Preoperative assessment is important.

Our diabetic cataract patients undergo the same sort of preoperative assessment as the rest of our cataract surgery patients, with the addition of a greater emphasis on the existence and degree of diabetic eye disease. Diabetic people are more likely than other patients to acquire cataracts at an earlier age, and they may also be more susceptible to acquiring posterior subcapsular cataracts. An important consideration is that the extent of cataract surgery observed should be consistent with the patients’ visual acuity and reported visual impairment. If the patient claims serious vision issues but the test reveals only minor cataracts, the retina should be examined thoroughly for any additional causes of visual loss.

One of the most important distinctions between background diabetic retinopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the existence of damaging neovascularization. Background diabetic retinopathy is more common than proliferative diabetic retinopathy, but it can occur in either category. The development of these new blood vessels results in a variety of complications, including vitreous hemorrhage, tractional retinal detachment, and neovascular glaucoma, among others. Diabetics at any stage of the retinopathy spectrum are prone to macular edema, which is one of the most common causes of central vision loss in diabetic patients. Many of these illnesses may be detected by a careful dilated fundus examination, but other techniques, like optical coherence tomography or fluorescein angiography, can detect more subtle abnormalities.

The treatment of diabetic ocular disease should be completed before considering cataract surgery as a treatment option. This entails a multi-pronged approach, with argon laser panretinal photocoagulation serving as the primary treatment for proliferative retinopathy and focused macular laser treatment serving as the primary treatment for clinically substantial macular edema. Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF medicines and steroids are frequently used as an additional ocular therapeutic option. The goal should be to establish tight control of the systemic blood glucose level, which will be reflected in the hemoglobin A1c level.

It is also possible that poorly managed diabetes has a deleterious impact on the anterior portion of the eye, including neovascularization of the iris and angle, which frequently results in neovascular glaucoma. It is imperative that aggressive neovascular glaucoma therapy takes precedence over cataract surgery since a prolonged rise in intraocular pressure (IOP) can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerves and significant vision loss. When dealing with these difficult patients, collaborating with a retinal colleague is frequently the most effective strategy. Click here to read about 8 Cataract surgery tips you should know of.

Technique and follow-up after surgery

Once diabetic retinopathy has resolved and the macula has become dry, cataract surgery can be planned, with priority being given to the insertion of monofocal lens implants, toric intraocular lenses (IOLs), or occasionally accommodating IOLs. Multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) should be avoided in eyes that have a history of macular lesions or who have a high risk of acquiring the macular disease. Acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLs) are favored in individuals who are expected to need a future vitrectomy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, whereas silicone IOLs may be a suitable option in patients who have well-controlled diabetes and moderate retinopathy, according to the authors.

By reducing the amount of phaco energy used, flowing less fluid through the eye, and avoiding contact with the iris, cataract surgery can be made less stressful. It is critical to use an efficient surgical method while doing cataract surgery on diabetic individuals in order to get the best possible results. It is preferable for these complicated patients to have their cataract surgery performed by an experienced surgeon rather than a novice surgeon. Diabetes-related impaired pupillary dilatation is common in the eyes of diabetics, particularly when active rubeosis is present or even retracted neovascularization is present. Pupil stretching should be avoided since these vessels have the potential to rupture, resulting in intraocular hemorrhage. It is possible to have intravitreal injections of triamcinolone or anti-VEGF drugs at the time of cataract surgery in some instances. A pars plana vitrectomy can be paired with cataract surgery in diabetics who have non-clearing vitreous hemorrhages or tractional retinal detachments. This is done in a teamwork approach with a vitreoretinal colleague.

It is possible that cataract surgery can cause progression and aggravation of diabetic retinopathy in eyes that have severe diabetic retinopathy, which will have a negative impact on vision. In eyes with only minor diabetic alterations, cataract surgery has a lower risk of causing this development of retinopathy than in other eyes. As a result, doing cataract surgery at an earlier stage is frequently advantageous for diabetic patients since it is associated with fewer problems and a faster return to crisp vision following the procedure.

Topical steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used postoperatively to decrease inflammation and may have a role in the prevention and treatment of macular edema. Serial postoperative visits can be used to measure macular thickness before discontinuing the topical medicines. To help in the healing process, patients should make an effort to maintain their systemic blood glucose levels under control during the post-operative period. Diabetics may be more prone to the development of posterior capsular opacification as well as the development of chronic postoperative inflammation. A patient’s diabetic retinopathy might worsen in the postoperative period, even after a brilliantly done cataract surgery; therefore, patients should be continuously watched with serial dilated funduscopic exams and referred to retinal colleagues if necessary.

The surgical treatment of diabetic patients with visually significant cataracts presents distinct problems, and diabetic patients with visually significant cataracts may be more vulnerable to complications during the postoperative period. The good news is that with careful pre-treatment of diabetic retinopathy, less invasive surgical procedures, and proper medicines following cataract surgery, these patients can perform really well and recover superb vision, just as our other cataract patients do.

8 Cataract surgery tips you should know of

Are you debating if it’s time for that cataract surgery? Whether you’ve planned your operation or are just beginning, it’s critical to understand what to anticipate.

However, how about recovery? What is cataract surgery. While cataract surgery is a great treatment, it does require a recovery period. Continue reading for eight pieces of advice on how to have the greatest cataract surgery recovery possible!

1. Drink plenty of water prior to and throughout your operation.

This is something that few people consider but should prior to undergoing any surgical operation. You should attempt to boost your water consumption before any procedure.

The human body is composed of up to 60% water! While you are not sedated during cataract surgery, the procedure may be rather demanding on your body.

Water is one of the most beneficial substances you can put into your body, particularly during times of recovery. Following cataract surgery, it may take a few days for your eyes to adjust to their new normal.

They may even feel a little drier than usual. This is another reason why drinking enough water is so good! By remaining adequately hydrated during the cataract surgery recovery process, you may be able to avoid your eyes feeling overly dry.

2. Prepare pre-cooked meals before to your surgery.

There are several things you may do to prepare for and plan ahead for a procedure like a cataract surgery. Stocking your refrigerator and freezer with pre-cooked meals is one of the simplest methods to do.

Lasagne, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and even stir-fries are all possible! Truly, the sky is the limit!

Are you not very fond of cooking? Inform your friends and family that you’re undergoing cataract surgery and will be unable to cook for a period of time.

There will undoubtedly be folks who are more than eager to assist you if cooking is not your forte!

3. Take a few days off from work to recharge your batteries.

Another excellent strategy to prepare for cataract surgery is to take a few days off work. Generally, you should be able to return to work after a few days, although this varies for every patient.

At the absolute least, do not anticipate returning to work the same day after cataract surgery. Your eyes will be more sensitive than usual, and you may experience irritability or discomfort.

What is the best course of action? Return home and unwind! You will also be unable to drive yourself home following your treatment and will need to wait until your doctor gives you clearance to drive again.

4. Administer all eye drops precisely as directed.

Taking eye drops is a critical aspect of the recovery process following cataract surgery. Two distinct types of eye drops will be prescribed by your cataract surgeon.

The first type is antibiotic eye drops, which are used to help prevent infection. The second kind is anti-inflammatory eye drops, which aid in the reduction of inflammation following your treatment. Visit to read about Can diabetic patients go for cataract surgery?

It is critical that you use these eye drops exactly as directed! This often entails taking them many times daily during the first week following cataract surgery. Without these drops, you risk developing significant consequences or eyesight difficulties.

While the eye drops may be irritating, they are a critical component of a successful cataract surgery recovery!

5. For a few weeks, abstain from any hard lifting or intense exercise.

Remember how vital it was to unwind during your cataract surgery recovery? This also applies to any activity that requires significant lifting or severe exercise.

You might be asking why heavy lifting is a problem. Heavy lifting might result in an increase in intraocular pressure.

Additionally, it might result in catastrophic consequences such as retinal detachment, displacement of the implanted lens, corneal edema, or fluid buildup in the eye. Your physician will inform you when you may resume normal activities, including intense exercise.

6. For one month, refrain from swimming in the ocean, lakes, or pools, or from using hot tubs.

While living in Australia, it’s tempting to get to the beach when the weather is great, you should avoid swimming for at least a month following cataract surgery.

Your eyes will be more sensitive and prone to infection following cataract surgery. All bodies of water, including lakes, the ocean, swimming pools, and even hot tubs, are teeming with bacteria of all varieties.

Due to the fact that you’ve just undergone treatment such as cataract surgery, you’re more susceptible to infection from these germs. It is advised to avoid swimming for at least a few weeks to a month after surgery.

7. Refrain from rubbing your eyes, even if they are itchy.

There are never any circumstances in which rubbing your eyes is a good idea. It has the potential to introduce bacteria from your hands into your eyes, resulting in illness.

However, you should avoid touching your eyes following cataract surgery. Your surgically repaired eye will be extremely sensitive.

Rubbing your eye may result in the destruction of the delicate flap formed during the operation. Damage to this flap may result in difficulties or other issues.

Therefore, what do you do if your eyes are inflamed and you are unable to massage them? Of course, use fake tears or eye drops!

If your eyes get inflamed (a common side effect in the first day or two following cataract surgery), artificial tears can be lifesavers!

Your eyes may feel dry, and artificial tears assist in rehydrating them. When your eyes feel too dry, using artificial tears is preferable to rubbing them.

8. During your cataract screening, feel free to ask your eye doctor any questions.

It’s natural to be fearful of cataract surgery. If you have a lot of questions, you owe it to yourself to jot them down.

You have the opportunity to ask questions during your cataract examination! It is critical to ask inquiries because they will assist you in putting your mind at rest prior to the operation.

It’s much simpler to establish trust with your doctor or surgeon if you’re at ease, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions. Bear in mind that there is no such thing as a “dumb inquiry.” Indeed, they have almost certainly heard them all before and encourage your inquiries!