Postoperative complications

Postoperative complications

Possible complications and negative sequelae of cataract surgery include:

cystoid-macular-edema-aa0_54543Cystoid macular edema (CME) occurs in 1.5%. There is increased risk with uncontrolled diabetes or if CME is present in the contralateral eye. The above funduscopic image and OCT show cystic spaces under the macula in CME.



IOL misalignment or dislocation occur in 1.1%.


Endophthalmitis occurs in about 0.1% of surgeries. Risk increases with posterior capsule tears.

Additional complications:

  • Bleeding, although this is generally a low risk
  • Vitreous loss
  • Capsular opacification, which can be treated with a YAG laser
  • Post-operative intraocular pressure spike
    • Increased risk with history of glaucoma, including steroid-induced glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment in 0.7%
    • Increased risk with previous retinal detachment, high myopia, history of retinopathy of prematurity, and posterior capsule tears
    • Treatment requires laser, cryotherapy or surgery
  • Bullous keratopathy in 0.3%