Ashburton eye clinic

What are the potential complications of cataract surgery?

98% of patients do very well from the surgery. However, like any surgical procedure, complications can occur.

These complications include:

  • infection
  • inflammation – swelling and irritation of the eye immediately after the operation
  • haemorrhage in the eye
  • changing the pupil shape or size
  • droopiness of the upper eyelid
  • macular oedema (swelling of the retina, responsible for clear central vision) which may occur weeks, months or even years after an otherwise uncomplicated surgical procedure
  • retinal tear tears and retinal detachments
  • previously asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic dry eye syndrome may develop after any eye surgery.

If you are concerned or want more information about the possible complications, please ask your eye doctor.

While high expectations from surgery are normally fulfilled, visual results may be limited by co-existing disease of the retina at the back of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration (aging damage of the retina affecting your central vision), diabetes, glaucoma or other diseases. Your eye doctor will endeavor to inform you of any associated disease at the back of your eye which may limit the visual improvement of an otherwise successful surgical removal of the cataract.

After surgery you may still need to wear glasses for distance and/or reading for extra clarity.