How Can You Minimize Complications Of Laser Cataract Surgery?

by Brent Woods

If you suffer from cataracts that are beginning to affect your daily vision, you may be researching your surgical treatment options. Laser cataract surgery offers tremendous advantages over traditional scalpel surgery when it comes to precision, cost, and healing time -- but like any type of surgery, it is not without potential complications. However, by taking a few preventive measures before surgery and while recovering, you can significantly minimize your odds of developing any complications that may slow your healing time. Read on to learn more about what you can do to reduce your chance of experiencing post-surgery complications.

What are potential complications of laser cataract surgery?

The most common complication of laser cataract surgery is posterior capsule opacity, or PCO. When the portion of your lens that contains the cataract is removed, some cloudy cells may still be left behind. Over time, these cells will multiply and create a new cataract behind the location of the original cataract, causing your vision to become dim and blurry again.

Another potential complication is a dislocated intraocular lens (or lenses if both eyes are affected). Like a dislocated shoulder or knee, a dislocated lens occurs after the lens is literally pushed out of place by the laser during the cataract removal. This is most likely to happen if you inadvertently twitch or experience a facial tic during the procedure.

Both these complications are easily and quickly treated by a subsequent procedure. If you experience PCO, you'll just need to return to your ophthalmologist so that he or she can use a laser to guide the cloudy spot to a different part of your eye, so that it's not directly in your line of vision. If you have a dislocated intraocular lens, the ophthalmologist will use a laser to guide the lens back to its original location and affix it there.

What can you do to minimize the potential of experiencing complications?

If you tend to suffer from occasional facial tics, or if you have claustrophobia or another anxiety disorder that may be aggravated by being forced to hold still for the procedure, let your ophthalmologist know. He or she may prescribe you a sedative to take before the procedure, or even do it under general anesthesia. The majority of dislocated lenses are caused by a patient movement during surgery, so ensuring that you can remain as still as possible is important.

After surgery, be sure to take all prescribed anti-inflammatory eye drops and other medications. Keeping the level of swelling down in each eye is important in assisting the recovery process and preventing any potential setbacks. To learn more, visit The Eye Center