Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Birmingham Cataract Surgery Complications

Birmingham Cataract Surgeon and Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. commented on cataract surgery complications. “Although cataract surgery complications are generally pretty limited, everyone with a cataract who is thinking about having eye surgery always should become knowledgeable about what could go wrong,” commented Dr. Michelson of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham. Certainly there are things that could go wrong. “Basically in the hands of an experienced cataract surgeon using modern cataract surgery techniques we do everything possible to reduce the risk of complications, stated Dr. Michelson. “When you consider the huge benefit that patients receive in not only in terms of vision but also lifestyle, comfort, convenience and safety the risk of complications is really quite low”, said Dr. Michelson. For routine cataract surgery in healthy patients the complication rate is well under 5%. This might increase somewhat if you have diabetic eye disease, glaucoma or other types of health or eye problems.

So what kinds of things can go wrong? First there are a handful of things that can happen during or within the first 24-48 hours after a Cataract operation. These include the very unusual things like bleeding inside the eye which is really rare, a little bleeding on the surface of the eye or an inner eye infection which is quite rare. Sometimes, if we need to anesthetize the eye using an injection you may have a little “black and blue” eye or an eyelid bruise. This usually clears up pretty quickly. Sometimes the “capsule” around the crystalline lens that is removed as part of the operation might be broken during the surgery and we might need to do a “vitrectomy” as part of the surgery to get a good result. This too is pretty unusual. More common in very nearsighted patients, some patients who have Cataract Surgery can have a retinal detachment. Occasionally in patients who have had “no stitch” Cataract Surgery the actual incision may leak. If this happens it is sometimes necessary for us to put a stitch in place to tightly close the incision. Then there are a few types of complications that can occur over a longer period of time. Very rarely the intraocular lens implant can move off center or the center of the retina can swell. By far the most common complication is a clouding of the lens capsule that has been left in place to support the lens implant. Fortunately, this complication is pretty easily managed with a quick, painless procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy that restores the vision almost immediately after the procedure.

Although it might sound like there are lots of possible complications of Cataract Surgery, rest assured they are quite unusual. This most common one of capsule opacity is easily treated. If you need cataract surgery it is important to have a little knowledge so you appreciate the degree of skill and experience required of your cataract surgeon to help you get the best result.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has Cataracts and has questions about Cataract Surgery and Lens Implant complications please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham-205-930-0930.