sdebartolo Asked June 2009

What are the complications and risk factors of cataract surgery for a 93 year old diabetic?

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My mother cannot take aspirin for 7 days prior to cataract surgery. She has had a stroke, carotid artery surgery, open heart surgery and has atherosclerosis. Aspirin serves as an anticoagulent. She has one carotid artery with more than 85% blockage.

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blannie Aug 2013
I agree with Macada. Talk to her primary care physician or cardiologist if she still has one. We're not qualified to discuss whether stopping aspirin for seven days is a good thing or not. Her doctors should be able to give you good advice.
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I think you should be asking this question to her Doctor, we aren't qualified to give the correct advice, unless there are M.D.'s who are members on here and want to comment.
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While cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures available with a high rate of success, rare complications can arise. You and your surgeon must balance the risks against the benefits. The surgeon should describe the risks from surgery in general as well as the special risks you might have following a complete and detailed ocular examination.
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I discussed it with my doctors at Killeen Vision Source, and according to them complications of cataract surgery are uncommon.

The most common complication after cataract surgery is clouding of the back part of the lens covering (capsule) that remains after surgery. The cloudiness, which may develop gradually over several months or years, affects about 1 in 4 people within 5 years of having cataract surgery.
Potential complications include:

Swelling of the retina (cystoid macular edema), which usually goes away on its own within a few weeks.
New or different astigmatism, which can usually be treated with corrective lenses and will not affect your eyesight.
Infection of the tissues in the eye (endophthalmitis). It affects less than 1% of people who have cataract surgery. This serious infection can lead to blindness.
Inflammation of the cornea, glaucoma, uveitis, retinal detachment, and vision problems, which can be caused by bits of the cataract that may have remained in the eye. The doctor can do a procedure called a vitrectomy to remove these particles and improve your vision.
Development of glaucoma after cataract surgery.
Retinal detachment. People who have had cataract surgery are at increased risk for retinal detachment.

Some of these complications can be successfully treated with an additional procedure or surgery. But even with treatment, these complications may leave you with poor vision or blindness in the affected eye. In some cases, the treatment itself may also cause further complications.

Your vision may be cloudy for up to 3 months after cataract surgery. This is normal and will go away as your eye heals.
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