The Risks of Cataract Surgery Are Minimal and Manageable

Because cataract surgery is a big event, it’s normal to have some anxiety before your procedure. We welcome your questions and concerns — ask away! There’s isn’t anything our doctors and their teams won’t tell you about cataract surgery.

Before we dive into your most common questions though, we want to reassure you of two things:

  1. Cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures in the world, making even common complications rare. Globally, 32 million people had cataract surgery in 2022 and 99.5% of them had a routine experience. Few procedures can boast that kind of success!
  2. Our surgeons are highly-trained, world-class experts. You truly are in good hands with them.

Cataract surgery itself only takes about 15 minutes per eye with vision improving steadily over the next few hours and days. Thanks to advanced technology, patients are often surprised by how minimal the downtime and discomfort are.

The most common problem after cataract surgery — and again it’s rare — is posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This happens when the capsule or “bag” that contains your lens becomes hazy. During cataract surgery, your natural lens is removed from the capsule and your new, clear one is implanted inside it. For a small number of patients, the capsule becomes cloudy. Patients sometimes think their cataracts have returned; however, once your lens has been replaced, cataracts cannot return. PCO is simple to remedy with a follow-up laser procedure.

Post surgery, cataract patients may also experience bright rings around lights, otherwise known as halos. At your pre-surgery consultation, your surgeon will discuss implantable lens options with you since you’ll need to choose one to replace your natural lens. This is a good time to discuss your post-surgery goals, and based on that, your doctor will be able to recommend a lens that meets your needs — and limits those troubling halos.

It’s important to know that cataract surgery cannot be redone. Removing your cloudy, natural lens is a permanent procedure. That’s a good thing! Because of advancements in technology, cataract surgery provides clear vision and prevents future cataracts from forming. There are times when, for a variety of reasons, patients may have to have their implanted lens exchanged to get their vision just right, but rest assured, there are a lot of steps and options before it comes to that. And again, those instances are very rare.

At Vance Thompson Vision, we want you to be happy with your outcome and will do our utmost to meet your visual goals — and bring those questions along for the process. We’re happy to answer them all!