Few cataract complications and their treatments

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A posterior capsule opacity (PCO) is one of the most common complications associated with cataract surgery. Other widely reported complications include eye inflammation, eye infections and a dislocated IOL. The reason for PCO comes from the lens capsule, which will be maintained during a surgery. About 20% of patients have haziness on their intact posterior capsules, so that even if the lens has been replaced successfully with an IOL, the vision is still blurry.

The principle of PCO

A PCO is not a “secondary cataract”. Cataracts will never recur once removed. The eye’s capsule has cells which continue to produce lens fibers. A secondary membrane may be formed by these new fibers that can not be laid down in an organized way. Blurry vision will be experienced if the little pearls of the second membrane accumulate in the pupil. This secondary blurriness can occur at any time after cataract surgery. This form of blurred vision can be quite significant.

Details of YAG laser capsulotomy

A PCO can be treated with a YAG laser capsulotomy, which takes only a few minutes and features safety, effectiveness and painlessness. Moreover, this surgery does not involve any anesthesia, preoperative tests and an operating room. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the hazy posterior capsule with a laser, eliminating any incision. With the help of anti-inflammation eye drops, patients can resume normal activities immediately after the surgery. Only 1% of patients may suffer from a retinal detachment after a YAG laser capsulotomy.

IOL dislocation is mainly caused by capsule bag problems

Another complication possible caused by YAG laser capsulotomy surgery is mal-positioned IOL, which may lead to double vision or severe decrease in visual acuity. There are mainly two underlying reasons that may cause dislocated IOLs: broken capsule bag and dislocated capsule bag. Since the IOL is placed within the extremely thin capsule bag, a broken bag due to accidents may lead to IOL dislocation.

Operational mistakes can also cause a dislocated IOL

The other reason comes from a dislocated capsule bag, which will surely lead to dislocated IOL. In addition, dislocated IOLs can also result from operational mistakes during the IOL positioning process. Once an IOL dislocation is found, a second procedure to reposition the lens will be taken soon. With proper treatment, dislocated IOLs will not bring permanent vision problems.

Other possible complications of YAG laser capsulotomy

Although the most severe complication may lead to vision loss, complication-free cataract surgeries account for 98% of the total. Other potential complications include minor eye inflammation, retinal detachment, retinal or corneal swelling, eye pressure increase and droopy eyelid. It is highly encouraged to tell the eye doctor about noticeable postoperative complications, e.g. floaters, light flashes and curtain-like vision loss, in order to receive immediate treatments.