Question: My mother had laser cataract surgery last week for the left eye and now has a complication. When she returned the very next day after surgery her eye looked fine and she said her vision was very clear. Now, three days after the laser cataract surgery she said she saw flashes in the bottom of the eye. When she went to the cataract surgeon to have this checked and the doctor said there is some minute amount of tissue of the old lens present and it must be operated and removed. Is this the mistake of doctor that he didn't remove the old lens fully? What is the risk of going under knife again? How serious this condition is? What are the complications after the second surgery?
Answer: While Laser Cataract Surgery does potentially provide greater precision, efficacy and reproducibility through the consolidation of a number of manual steps into a surgeon directed laser, rather than manual procedure for these steps, a critical part of the Cataract operation is the process of phacoemulsification whereby the cloudy lens material is actually aspirated from the eye. This step, as well as many others, still requires considerable skill of the Cataract Surgeon and from time to time can have some complications. Now-if the remaining fragments of lens material are in the front of the eye-or anterior chamber-the removal would be done with traditional phacoemulsification techniques. The risks and complications of a second cataract procedure are the same as first procedure which would include infection, rise in intraocular pressure, corneal edema, retinal detachment, macular edema, ptosis or even damage or a break in the posterior capsule. If however, the remaining lens fragments are in posterior segment, or posterior chamber of the eye, that is a whole different picture as it could involve the need for a vitrectomy with all of the associated risks of such surgery.
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