What Are the Most Common Problems After Cataract Surgery? - SightMD Skip to main content

April 17, 2023

By: Barinder (Tony) Athwal, MD

What Are the Most Common Problems After Cataract Surgery?

Male doctor and male patient sitting in an office where the doctor is showing the patient something on a tablet

If you are about to undergo cataract surgery, it would be an understatement to say that  you have enough to think about as you prepare for this procedure. Remember though that cataract surgery is safe and – at a typical time frame of between 30 and 45 minutes – it is a relatively quick operation. We at SightMD feel it is important to let you know what to expect after your cataract surgery procedure and the adjustments you will need to make until your eye (or eyes) completely heal. With that in mind…

What should I worry about after cataract surgery?

So, you have undergone cataract surgery and your recuperation period begins. Among the most common problems for anyone who’s had this procedure, complications can range from immediate to delayed complications following the procedure. Some immediate complications are a result of having the surgical procedure. These include discomfort, bruising and swelling of the eyelid, increased intraocular pressure, and allergic reaction to the steroid or antibiotic drop. These complications are monitored over time following surgery. If there is progression to pain, decrease in vision, or any discharge from the eye, patients are advised to seek medical attention.

You will have to resist the urge to rub or press on the eye that has been operated on. As a preventative measure, your ophthalmologist will insist you wear a shield over your eye as protection. This shield will be especially helpful when you sleep. Special eye drops will also likely be prescribed with instructions on dosage and frequency.

Cataract Surgery & Complications

We don’t want to scare you away from going through with this procedure, but we would be remiss if we did not let you know about possible complications that might develop after cataract surgery. The eyelid may bruise and swell severely. There might also be the possibility of what is known as “intraocular pressure,” which concerns the degree of fluid pressure in the eye. In some cases, the patient may have an allergic reaction to the special eye drops prescribed by his or her ophthalmologist. Should you experience any of these post-op complications, however, know that the eye care team at SightMD will monitor each and every phase of any difficult situation.

When to talk with your doctor

With symptoms of normal side effects and serious complications being so similar, you may wonder when it’s worth calling your doctor after cataract surgery. While your doctor should give you specific advice on when to call for help after the procedure, some signs to watch for include:

  • pain that isn’t helped by prescribed or over-the-counter medications
  • vision loss
  • fever
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dark spots in your vision

Once again, although cataract surgery is complex, it is one of the most frequently performed of all operations. If you have made the decision to undergo this procedure, and have any further questions – whether they relate to pre- or post-op, SightMD is here to answer them. Contact us to learn more.