What are the risks related to surgery? 

As with any surgery, cataract surgery has risks1:

  • Tearing – during surgery, delicate parts of the eye can sometimes tear, especially in a mature cataract. This could require another surgical procedure to fix the damage.
  • Inflammation – non-infection-related swelling is usually minor and can be treated with eye drops after surgery.
  • Cystoid macular oedema – the central part of your retina that is in charge of the finest vision can swell, causing blurred vision. This is common in those who suffer from diabetes and it can be treated with medication.
  • Visual effects – seeing halos or blurry/poor night vision can happen as the brain adjusts to the intraocular lens. These should resolve on their own.
  • Secondary cataract (posterior capsule opacification) – these sometimes form and can be corrected by a laser surgical procedure.
  • Incision leak – if the incision leaks, an eye bandage or a suture may be applied to reduce infection.
  • Infections – these can develop in the first week after surgery, causing visual loss, pain and redness, etc. This is a very serious adverse event that may require the injection of antibiotics inside your eye and/or another surgery.

Be sure to talk to your eye care professional about all the risks associated with cataract surgery.

1. National Eye Institute. Facts about cataract. Available at:
https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts Last accessed March 2017.