Frequently Asked Question About Cataract Surgery

Safety

Q Will there be any pain during or after surgery?
A Patients may feel some discomfort from the eye being opened widely, touched, or pressed against, but otherwise should experience virtually no pain under anesthesia during the surgical procedure. Some patients may feel a slight pain or a foreign matter sensation once the anesthesia wears off after surgery. Although the level of pain varies from person to person, in general, there is rarely any pain that would raise concerns.

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Q What are the potential complications?
A Immediately after surgery, patients may temporarily feel slight pain, a foreign matter sensation and some sting, which will resolve within a few days. In addition, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding of the white of the eye) or blurriness may persist for two weeks to one month. There may also be elevated intraocular pressure and an opaque lens sac (capsule). Rare complications include infection, uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye), endophthalmitis (swelling of the intraocular cavity), macular degeneration (loss of tissue in the center of the retina), expulsive hemorrhage, and loss of endothelial cell count, among others.

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Q Will the cataract recur after cataract surgery?
A During cataract surgery, the surgeon removes only the opaque lens, with the capsule left intact, within which the intraocular lens is implanted. Called a secondary cataract, the capsule may become opaque after surgery, reducing the patients’ ability to see well. Such opacity, however, can be eliminated by laser, thereby restoring vision.

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Q How long will intraocular lenses last?
A Made of long lasting and biocompatible material, intraocular lenses used in cataract surgeries do not have to be replaced or otherwise maintained.

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Q Can intraocular lenses become dislocated?
A Although the intraocular lens implanted in the capsule may move slightly as the capsule contracts, this generally does not affect vision. Any significant dislocation, however, may require surgery again to move the intraocular lens back to where it is supposed to be.

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Q Will patients feel pain or detect other signs when any abnormality occurs to the intraocular lens?
A Because the intraocular lens is in the eye, patients feel no pain even if the lens is dislocated.

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Q Is it possible to replace an intraocular lens?
A In rare occasions where postoperative refractive power undergoes a significant change, the intraocular lens can be replaced.

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