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What are the risks of surgery

The risk of serious complications developing as a result of cataract surgery is small.
The most common complication is a condition called posterior capsule opacification (PCO), which can cause your vision to become cloudy again. In PCO, a skin or membrane grows over the back of the lens implant months or years later.

If necessary, PCO can be treated with a simple laser eye surgery procedure to cut away the membrane.

Other risks or complications of cataract surgery are much rarer and can include:

  • tearing of the lens capsule, the “pocket” that holds the lens in place
  • all or some of the cataract dropping into the back of the eye
  • inability to remove all of the cataract or insert a lens implant
  • infection or bleeding in the eye

Most complications that can potentially develop after cataract surgery can be treated with medication or further surgery, and don’t usually have a long-term impact on your vision.
However, there’s a very small risk – around 1 in 1,000 – of permanent sight loss in the treated eye as a direct result of the operation.