Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries performed in the world. Usually, the surgery is successful, but serious complications can and do occur even in the hands of the most experienced cataract surgeons.
The most common complication is damage to the lens capsule during cataract extraction. This capsule, or “bag” can rupture allowing pieces of the cataract to “fall” into the back of the eye. The intraocular lens implant placed into the eye can also dislocate and fall to the back of the eye. In both scenarios, a retinal surgeon may be needed to recover these lost pieces or implant with an additional surgery.
Other complications associated with cataract surgery include endophthalmitis (severe infection inside the eye), retinal detachment, cystoid macular edema, and choroidal hemorhage. If any of these conditions is suspected by your cataract surgeon, then an urgent referral to a retina specialist is necessary to recover as much vision as possible. All of these cases are unique and complex. The choice and timing of surgery varies depending on the severity of the complication, level of inflammation, eye pressure, etc.