• Can cataract surgery cause bleeding in my good eye and lead to vision loss?


    Question:

    I have wet AMD (abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye) in my left eye and it was treated with laser surgery. I still lost most of my central vision in that eye. I now have cataract in my right eye that is rapidly progressing. I will be having surgery but still have four weeks to wait for the surgery consultation. I know that cataract surgery is common and considered very safe. Yet I have fears as I really only have one good eye. I also am very hard of hearing and have been told I will eventually be totally deaf. So you can see that my vision is very important to me. I know I need to have the surgery regardless of risk but what are the risks if any that can occur to the retina? Is there any way that the surgery could result in bleeding on the macula and trigger vision loss?


    Answer:

    This is a tough situation in that the biggest risk of getting bleeding from macular degeneration (wet AMD) is having wet AMD in the opposite eye. So, you are at risk to get this in the "good" eye no matter which way you go. You should be on ocular vitamins for AMD and should get a retina exam before the cataract evaluation if one has not been performed recently. Progression to wet AMD can certainly happen after cataract surgery but it can equally happen in eyes with a cataract as well. If the cataract surgeon and retina specialist agree you need the cataract removed, I would likely follow their suggestions. Make sure you understand exactly what your risk is during your pre-operative visits.


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