There are largely two main types of surgery associated with the removal of eye cataracts, Extracapsulation Cataract Extraction and Phacoemulsification.

The capsulation extraction method involves a 10mm incision into the eye, and there is a long recovery time, whilst for the Phaco method only a 3mm incision is required, and recovery time is much quicker.

Both of these techniques are usually relatively simple operations and free of complications, however there have been times when ophthalmologist carrying out such operations have encountered problems, either during surgery, early after surgery, and later on following surgery.

Some Complications Arising During Eye Cataract Surgery.

Rupture of the Posterior Capsule. This can often happen during Phaco surgery, a tear can appear in the area where the intraocular lens (IOL), is to be inserted, if the tear is big enough to affect the placement of the IOL, the eyes Iris is constricted using Miochol and an anterior chamber intraocular lens inserted (AC_IOL). If the tear is leaking vitrious fluid, then the insertion of the IOL may be delayed until further action has been taken to repair the tear.


Expulsive Hemorrhage. This can occur following an acute drop in intraocular eye pressure, and happens in patients who are diabetic, myopic, or have glaucoma. The ciliary bodies, which produce the aqueous humor fluid to the eye start to accumulate blood which cause the intraocular pressure to then shoot up rapidly. Thesurgeon has to close the wound in an effort to normalize eye pressure before proceeding.

Early Post-Op Complications.

Bacterial Endophthalmitis. Is an infection usually originating in the patient which has serious affects on vision, it can occur in about 0.1% of patients undergoing eye surgery brought about by the bacteria such as Staphylococcus Epidermis, or Staphylococcus Aureus.

High Intraocular Pressure The filter drainage network for the aqueous humor fluid to escape, becomes blocked and causes the intraocular eye pressure to increase.

Late After Operation Complications.

Retinal Detachment Can occur in patient’s  eyes which have suffered from posterior capsular rupture.

Cystoid Macular Endema. (CME) This complication is also known as Irvine-Glass Syndrome. Eye fluids accumulate in the macular causing vision reduction, it is believed that it occurs due to the release of prostaglandins from the iris if the eye, during and after surgery.

There are other complications which can arise from the improper suturing or sealing of the wound, but as has been stated complications are very rare and occur in only 0.1% of patients, so the other 99.9% of operations are successful, and although complications can arise infrequently, it is no reason to put off having surgery for any person affected by an eye cataract.

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