FAQs about cataract eye surgery
Can a cataract return?
No, a cataract cannot return, because the lens of the eye has been permanently removed and replaced with an implant. However, in about 10 to 15 per cent of people who have cataract eye surgery, the new lens capsule can become cloudy, causing the same vision problems as a cataract does.
The treatment for this condition is a procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy. Our eye surgeon uses a laser (light) beam to make a tiny hole in the capsule to let light pass through. This procedure is painless and is conveniently performed at our clinic at the Epworth in Melbourne.
Most people have better vision after YAG Laser Capsulotomy, but, as with any surgery, complications can occur. We will discuss these risks with you during your consultation.
Are there any risks or complications with cataract eye surgery?
Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure all over the world. More than 99 per cent of cataract surgeries improve vision, but a small number of patients may experience some problems, some severe enough to limit their vision.
As with any surgery, results can never be guaranteed. There is always a possibility of complications – potentially due to a reaction of the drug used, or other factors that may involve other parts of your body. Serious complications are extremely rare, however, and occur in less than 0.5 per cent of cases. In some cases, these complications will require further surgery.
The most serious complications are:
- Infection: One in 1,000 to 2,000 cases.
- Loss of the cataract into the back of the eye: One in 1,000 cases.
- Serious inflammation inside the eye: One in 200 to 300 cases.
- Retinal detachment: One in 200 to 400 cases.
- Retinal or persistent corneal swelling: One in 200 cases.
- Blindness: Extremely rare.
- Loss of the eye: Extremely rare.
What if something goes wrong with my cataract eye surgery?
Nobody can predict exactly how the new lens will perform once it is in place, especially if you had previous eye surgery or laser eye surgery. On rare occasions, the lens may even need to be replaced in a second procedure, because it does not match your eye.
In cases where implant lens exchange is medically necessary, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for surgical or anaesthetic fees, but you will need to pay for the day theatre. Very rarely something will happen and a lens needs to be taken out.
Less serious complications may occur in up to 4 per cent of cases. In general, these complications do not have a serious effect on your vision, or they are transient.
If your eye is healthy, you have an excellent chance of good vision following the removal of your cataracts. We will discuss with you risks and benefits of cataract surgery in your particular case so you can make an informed decision about your cataract surgery.
Can laser eye surgery be used following cataract surgery or multifocal vision correction?
During our assessment process for cataract surgery or multifocal vision correction, it may emerge that you also have a high or difficult refractive error issue with your eyesight that may respond to Excimer Laser vision correction.
We use Excimer laser vision correction to treat long-sightedness. (You may not be able to avoid glasses all together and may still require reading glasses unless you also have a ReFocus vision correction procedure.)
If this occurs, a diagnosis and specific laser treatment will be discussed in detail with you. Please understand, we will only recommend a combined treatment if we feel that the outcome can reasonably match your own expectations. Usually, laser vision correction is performed three to four weeks after Low Stress Cataract® surgery or ReFocus vision correction.
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Laser eye surgery is an investment in you. It’s why we offer interest-free payment plans over six, 12 or 18 months to suitable candidates.