Vision threatening complications
Occasionally a portion of the cataract falls into the vitreous cavity in the back of the eye during the surgery.
Removal of this fragment may require a second operation.
The surgery usually involves removal of the opaque contents of the lens of the eye whilst leaving the clear covering (capsule) of the lens intact. Sometimes this capsule is torn or ruptured during the operation and it may be necessary to remove some of the clear vitreous jelly from the back of the eye. This may mean that a different type of intraocular lens may need to be implanted than was planned, or it may not be safe to implant a lens.
This may also increase the risk of developing other complications after the surgery such as macula oedema or retinal detachment.
Infection in the eye can occur in the days to weeks after the operation, but is rare. You will usually be using antibiotic drops to help prevent this. When infection occurs the eye may become red and painful and vision may deteriorate. In these circumstances you should seek the attention of your ophthalmologist immediately.
The cornea, or clear window of the eye, sometimes becomes swollen and cloudy after cataract surgery.
In most cases this clears over a period of weeks. Rarely the condition is permanent and requires a corneal transplant operation.
The inside of the eye may become swollen after cataract surgery.
This swelling occurs in the centre of the retina, called the macula, and is called macula oedema.
This causes the vision to be blurred. Most cases of macular oedema improve spontaneously or after treatment with drops, tablets, or an injection in the eye.