Cataract Surgery Challenges, Complications & Solutions

If you need cataract surgery to restore your vision, it’s important to be aware that other vision conditions may affect the procedure, making it more difficult for your surgeon to perform. Three conditions that can make your cataract surgery more challenging are:

  • high myopia (nearsightedness)
  • previous vitrectomy
  • pterygium

This page describes some of the cataract surgery challenges related to these conditions.

Cataract Surgery Challenges & High Myopia

Myopia (nearsightedness) is typically due to a cornea that is too steep, which leads to a larger anterior chamber (the area in front of the eye’s lens), although sometimes it is due to the size of your eyes. Because of your refractive error, you may believe that your cataracts are worse than they are, so we’ll make sure that you will benefit from cataract surgery before performing it.

If you have high myopia, you are also at an increased risk for retina and macular damage, so don’t be surprised if we take a long time evaluating you before surgery. Large anterior chambers can make it challenging to manage the flow of fluid in the eye, and your vitreous may be more delicate, so care will be taken to avoid damaging it.

You may be at an increased risk for capsular opacification, when the lens capsule (which is generally left in) becomes cloudy.

How Previous Vitrectomy Complicates Cataract Surgery

In a vitrectomy, the vitreous fluid that fills most of your eye is removed and replaced with any of a number of substances, such as silicone gel. Some or all of the fluid may be removed, depending on the reason for the treatment.

A vitrectomy may increase your need for cataract surgery. As with high myopia, it’s important that we evaluate and regulate the fluid pressure in various parts of your eyes. Vitrectomy can affect the integrity of the capsule that holds your natural and replacement lenses, and can affect the position of the lens. This makes it difficult to properly calculate the proper lens power for your intraocular lens.

Replacement fluid is also less solid than your natural vitreous, which means the surgery has to be modified to ensure proper support for the lens.

Pterygium Correction & Cataract Surgery

Pterygium is when you have an outgrowth of the cornea. It can affect your vision, irritate your eye, or be totally benign. Most often, it does have some vision effect, increasing your astigmatism. Sometimes cataract surgery and pterygium surgery can be performed at the same time. Other times, it may be recommended that you have your pterygium corrected first. Then your eye can heal, allowing proper calculation of the right power for your intraocular lens.

What To Do If You Have Cataract Surgery Challenges

If you have eye conditions that may present cataract surgery challenges, it’s important to choose your cataract surgeon carefully. Read Choosing a cataract surgeon for information on how to find the right one for you.

Please contact Kelly Laser Center today to schedule a consultation at our Manhattan or Long Island office.