• Can I have surgery for the cataracts if I've had herpes simplex?


    Question:

    I have had herpes simplex in my right eye twice now and I'm just beginning to get cataracts in both eyes. Can I have surgery for the cataracts if I've had herpes simplex? I was told I couldn't have any type of surgery on my eyes.


    Answer:

    Cataract surgery should not be performed in an eye with active herpes simplex or recent infection. However, if the eye is quiet and stable for a period of time (I typically wait at least 6 months for the eye to be stable and free of inflammation) surgery could be considered if the cataracts are visually significant. With any surgery on the eye in this setting, I would take oral antivirals prior to surgery and at least 3-6 months after surgery as a prophylaxis against recurrence of the virus in the eye.


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