What are the risks of phacoemulsification?

Wed Aug 30 2023

It is natural to be a little discouraged or unsettled when we hear the term ‘risk’, be it associated with anything. Phacoemulsification is the process of emulsifying or liquifying cataract during micro incision cataract surgery (MICS). Before we get on with the risks of phacoemulsification surgery, let us briefly gain clarity on the basics and standard facts. Usually, it is a safe advanced technique of cataract removal which is performed by specialized cataract surgeons. Phacoemulsification surgery is an advanced approach which uses ultrasound energy for emulsifying the nucleus which is then sucked out through the micro incision. Through the same incision, the surgeon implants a foldable IOL (Intraocular Lens). The entire procedure of phacoemulsification with IOL is stitchless, bloodless, and painless and offers speedy healing. 

General risks of phacoemulsification of cataract include:

Experiencing mild pain, dryness, and itching for five to seven days following phacoemulsification surgery. However, if you struggle with any of the following complications, pay immediate attention:

  • Swelling and bruising of the eyelid 
  • Increased eye pressure (intraocular hypertension) leading to Glaucoma
  • Allergic reaction to the antibiotic or steroid eye drop
  • Persistent prolonged pain or inflammation post-surgery
  • Blurred or decreased vision even after a few days of surgery
  • Persistent redness and discharge from the eye

Another long-term risk of cataract removal surgery is ‘secondary cataract’, known as posterior capsular opacification. It can start to develop anytime after cataract surgery. Going for regular post-surgery follow-ups is the safest way to keep track of recovery and detect any complications as soon as they arise. Seek medical consultation with an eye doctor when you experience any risks.  

Who is more prone to the risks of phacoemulsification?

One has to go through a number of pre-surgery check ups to ensure that they are an ideal candidate for phacoemulsification. Getting screening tests done helps identify the risk factors as well. Following are the risk factors that one needs to be aware of before undergoing phacoemulsification procedure:

  • Increasing age
  • Health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity
  • Previous eye inflammation or injury
  • Too much exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Chronic use of medications (especially steroids)

How to minimize the chances of post-surgery risks of phacoemulsification?

To greatly reduce the chances of risks or complications of phacoemulsification, it is crucial to take care of the following things:

  • Any ocular disease should be completely treated before the surgery
  • Advanced surgical technique should be preferred over open surgery
  • Antibiotic eye drop should be used at the end of the surgery
  • The patient should be properly instructed on post-surgery precautions, hygiene measures, and pain management.

Rely on expert’s words for final words

To know if phaco eye surgery is suitable for you or your family member looking for cataract treatment, consult an experienced cataract surgeon. Discuss your medical history in detail with your eye doctor and make sure to know everything about MICS. 

To book an appointment for your cataract treatment, get in touch with us through https://www.centreforsight.net/ . We are more than happy to provide seamless eye care services because we truly believe that ‘every eye deserves the best’. 

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