Question: What complications can arise from procedure that removes "cloudy" condition from an existing intraocular lens? Can existing "cloudy" IOL be replaced with new IOL?
Answer: When you are describing a cloudy IOL, we are uncertain whether you actually mean the IOL itself has become cloudy-indicating that there was perhaps some inflammation or other complication during the cataract surgery-or if you are referring to the presence of “posterior capsular opacification” in which the lens capsule of the crystalline lens which had the cloudy cataract material was removed. If it is the former there is no telling what the complications might be as this is a much more complex situation to understand without a clinical exam. If you are describing posterior capsular opacification then it is possible that a YAG Laser Capsulotomy will be performed in order to create a small optically clear opening in the cloudy lens capsule. This is needed in some 30% of patients that have had routine cataract surgery and is relatively uneventful. A YAG Laser procedure is performed using simply eye drops for anesthesia and takes only a few minutes in the office. There really is no recovery tie and the restoration of clear vision is usually immediate. If in fact you need to have a coated or clouded IOL actually exchanged for a new one this does require intraocular surgery and thus the complications are the same as any other primary cataract surgery including infection, inflammation, swelling of the delicate internal ocular tissue and even retinal detachment which is very unusual.
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