What are the risks of cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is an operation, and all operations carry risk. However, with modern keyhole cataract surgery, the risks of surgery are now low.

Postoperative Risks

The most serious risk would be an intraocular infection, which is a serious complication that can lead to loss of sight. I’ve done over 25,000 procedures, and in that time, I’ve had three patients who’ve had an infection. None in the last six years, since we’ve changed our antibiotic regimes. We now inject an antibiotic into the surface of the eye with a solution that patients can’t feel, and that’s hugely reduced the risk of infection.

Operative Risks

Now there can be complications at the time of surgery, and rarely, we may not be able to replace the cataract with a new intraocular lens at the time of surgery. But if it occurs, one replaces the lens two to three weeks later, once the eye has settled.

At times, following surgery the pressure may be a little bit high, the eye can be inflamed, and again that can typically be treated with drops.

Rarity of Risks

So, although cataract surgery is a surgical procedure which carries risks, the risks are rare, and most of them are treatable. And it’s most unusual for patients to not benefit from cataract surgery as a result of a complication.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years of experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.