Monday, August 12, 2013

Can Cataract Surgery Cause Vitreous Detachment?

Birmingham Cataract Specialist Tyler Hall, M.D. explained why cataract surgery patients often experience Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) with “cobwebs and floaters” after a cataract operation. Dr. Hall noted, “Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) does indeed appear to be more common in individuals who have had cataract surgery. There may not be an obvious "cause and effect" relationship but there are a number of possible factors that contribute to this.” 
  • The vitreous changes that lead to vitreous liquefication and instability and ultimately PVD are age-related, as are cataracts and the need for cataract surgery.
  • Removal of a cataract can allow mechanical space shifts in the vitreous gel and perhaps increase the odds of PVD.
  • Biochemical changes actually occur following cataract surgery and these appear to increase the likelihood of PVD, particularly if the posterior lens capsule is opened.
  • Unusual complications of cataract surgery can disrupt the integrity of the vitreous gel and increase the odds of PVD.
“As a practical matter, our clinical experience indicates that it is pretty typical for some 50% or more of patients undergoing cataract surgery to experience a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD), with some patients noticing visual symptoms including a “cobweb” or some floaters,” explained Dr. Hall. “If the visual symptoms become excessive or are accompanied by a curtain or veil in your vision, or perhaps distortion or bending of your vision, we want to hear from you immediately.” 

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about cataracts, cataract surgery or posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

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 & Corneal Specialists-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 and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.