Are There Any Side Effects to Cataract Surgery?

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Treatment for cataracts – an eye condition that most individuals will experience at some point in their lives – has become much more advanced over the last several years. Cataract surgery is typically performed as a 10-15 minute, outpatient procedure, and many patients are able to resume some of their daily routines as soon as one day after the surgery. With that in mind, the removal of a cataract is a surgical procedure, and there are potential side effects to the treatment.

Once a cataract is removed, the eye itself will need some time to heal. Possible side effects during this process include infection, discomfort, bleeding, a red and “bloodshot” appearance to the treated eye, mild bruising in the skin under the eye, some eye irritation, and some initial blurriness or distorted vision; however, these effects are often temporary and rarely lead to major complications. Medication and follow-up appointments to check the progress of healing are typically all that’s necessary to address any lingering side effects caused by the surgery.

Although not considered a side effect, about 15-20% of cataract surgery patients develop posterior capsule opacity (PCO), which appears as a blurry film. Many patients mistakenly think their cataract has returned, when in reality they have developed PCO (commonly referred to as a secondary cataract). A very simple, in-office laser treatment is used to eliminate PCO. This treatment is typically covered by most medical insurance companies.

Our cataract surgeons here at The Eye Institute of Utah may also provide you with an eyeshield to be worn for a brief amount of time. The eyeshield can ultimately help protect the eye and accelerate healing. Each patient’s recovery process will vary slightly due to an individual’s unique needs. With that in mind, it’s important to note that our experienced cataract surgeons utilize some of the most advanced technology available to make both the treatment and recovery process as smooth as possible for everyone.

Learn more about the cataract surgery process here.

If you would like more information on what you can expect from cataract surgery, please contact us today.