Correcting Cloudy Vision After Surgery (Secondary Cataracts) - SightMD Skip to main content

Can Cataracts Return After Surgery?

During cataract surgery, our ophthalmologists remove your clouded natural lens and replace it with an artificial one. They preserve the integrity of a transparent membrane called the lens capsule to support the new lens. In most cases, this capsule stays clear after the procedure.

Posterior capsule opacification occurs when certain residual cells grow on the back of the lens capsule. This cell growth causes the capsule to become somewhat opaque and hazy. As a result, light cannot travel through your eye properly.

What’s Posterior Capsule Opacity?

PCO happens because a membrane called the posterior capsule becomes cloudy. The posterior capsule once held your eye’s natural lens and now holds the intraocular lens in place. PCO can present symptoms like a cataract, such as blurry or cloudy vision and light sensitivity. Because of the changes to your eyesight, PCO can make it seem like your cataract has come back. However, it’s important to remember that a cataract cannot return after it has been removed. When people talk about a secondary cataract, they are referring to PCO.

Woman's eye cloudy with cataract

Treatment of Posterior Capsule Opacity

A quick and painless procedure known as a laser capsulotomy can correct PCO. It treats the problem by creating an opening in the cloudy capsule tissue. The opening restores clear vision by allowing light to travel through the eye again.

Your eye will be numbed before the laser procedure for your comfort. The quick process takes roughly five minutes to complete. Most people only require laser treatment for PCO once.

Recovery after a laser capsulotomy is very manageable. Post-operative discomfort is minimal, and there are no activity restrictions to worry about. Your vision should improve in approximately 24 hours.

Contact SightMD today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss your vision health at one of our convenient locations!