So you have a cataract, and have heard you can possibly develop another one even after cataract surgery. Now you’re wondering, “is cataract surgery worth it?” Here’s a look at the facts, so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Can Cataracts Return After Surgery?
The most simple answer here is no. Cataract surgery involves removing the eye’s clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. It’s actually impossible for a cataract to develop on an artificial lens.
Posterior Capsule Opacification
However, there is indeed something referred to as an “After Cataract.” The real medical term is Posterior Capsule Opacification or PCO and it occurs in 20-50% of patients within two to five years of the cataract removal, making it the most common cause of blurriness after cataract surgery.
You’re at greater risk for this if you’re younger and/or have diabetes, traumatic cataract, myotonic dystrophy, uveitis or retinitis pigmentosa. If you have the procedure and start experiencing symptoms like blurred vision, light sensitivity, decreased vision, halos around lights and/or trouble reading, you may have PCO and should schedule an eye exam.
Is Cataract Surgery Worth It?
So, with all this in mind, should you still get the procedure? The answer is unequivocally yes (as long as your doctor recommends it, too). For one, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness so you don’t want to leave them untreated and risk such a devastating outcome.
Additionally, as mentioned above, only 20-50% of patients develop PCO. While that’s a fairly high percentage for a surgery complication, you have a 50-80% chance of not developing it. Put that way, your odds seem pretty good.
Finally, even if you do get PCO post-surgery, it can be effectively treated with laser capsulotomy. So, although this outcome isn’t ideal, it’s still far better than living with cataracts and risking potential blindness.
Contact us today to ask about our cataract exams to learn more about cataract surgery benefits.