What are the cataract surgery risks?

What are the cataract surgery risks? Cataract surgery is by far the most commonly performed eye operation with excellent results. Nonetheless, because it’s surgery, there are risks sometimes involved, and that’s why we take the best precaution to prevent them from happening. During the assessment phase of surgery, we determine whether or not there are any specific features in that particular patient which would introduce another dimension of risk which would then lead us to take the necessary steps to mitigate that risk.

At the time of the surgery, we perform the procedure using all the established anaesthetic and sterilisation protocols to limit the risk of infection from the operation. With eye surgery, by and large, most patients do not have any issues. Complications like haemorrhage or infection, dislocation of the intraocular lens or even dislocation of the lens itself before we’re able to retrieve it are known to happen. Because we know this can happen, we take the best precautions we can to avoid them.

Cataract surgery risks in numbers

In terms of percentages, there’s one in a thousand chance of something seriously going wrong in the average cataract operation. The good thing about this is that for the most part, we can intervene secondarily to try and redress the issue. If for example, there’s a lens dislocation, the second surgery can be undertaken to replace it although it carries additional risks. In short, cataract surgery is an operation that is the most commonly performed with excellent results, with very minimal serious risks. We know risks can happen and we take the best precautions we can to prevent them from happening.


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About the author

Leonard Teye-Botchway
Consultant Ophthalmic Physician and Surgeon |MBChB, FRCS(G), MBA, FWACS, FGCS, DCEH (Lond), Postgraduate Diploma in Cataracts and Refractive Surgery

I am Leonard Teye-Botchway and I am the Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology in Bermuda. The joy and elation I get from seeing patients who are very happy they can see after surgery is almost unimaginable. This is what really drives me to carry on being an ophthalmologist.

We have sourced some or all of the content on this page from The American Academy of Ophthalmology, with permission.