Can Cataracts Come Back?

After undergoing the sight-improving surgery that is laser vision correction, the last thing you expect is that your vision actually gets worse! But fear not, because for many people it takes a while for their eyesight to calm down after the operation.

Can Cataracts Come Back?

Being diagnosed with cataracts and having surgery is an anxious time. It doesn’t matter how many times you’re told that it’s a common condition with millions of surgeries carried out per year—for you, it’s a once (or possibly twice) in a lifetime experience. So a level of nervousness is only natural—and, of course, you’re going to have questions.

One of the most common of these is, can cataracts come back?

The short answer is no, once operated on, cataracts can’t return. However, there is a condition that can occur in some cases that have symptoms that are very similar to the first noticed signs of cataracts. The following discusses this, and the simple solution, in more detail.

A Permanent Solution

       Cataract surgery recovery: Why cataracts can’t come back

Cataract surgery recovery: Why cataracts can’t come back

Cataracts form when proteins within the eye clog up the natural lens. It happens slowly over time and usually becomes apparent during the later years of life (although cataracts can form in younger people as well). This causes the lens to become thicken and become opaque—a process known as opacification. This causes issues with vision, such as blurring, clouding, and—if left untreated—can cause permanent loss of sight.

During cataract surgery the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one, meaning the cataract cannot return. However, there is a condition that can occur post-surgery that mimics the symptoms of a cataract. This is called Posterior Capsular Opacification.

To understand what this is and the available treatment we need to delve a little into the procedure of cataract removal, recovery period, and cataract surgery aftercare

The Recovery Period and Cataract Surgery Aftercare

  •    Understanding the surgical procedure
  •    Posterior capsular opacification

Understanding the surgical procedure

The natural lens within the eye is held in place within a thin membrane, known as a capsule. To gain access, the surgeon removes the front portion of this, leaving the back (posterior) portion in place to provide a fixing point for the artificial lens.

Posterior capsular opacification

The condition known as posterior capsular opacification (POC) is when the part of the capsule that remains in the eye becomes cloudy following surgery. It is not the formation of a new cataract, yet the symptoms are remarkably similar. Namely, increased clouding, blurry vision, sensitivity to glare and bright lights, and difficulties in reading.

The treatment for posterior capsular opacification is simple, quick, and highly successful. Your cataract surgeon uses a laser to remove a small center portion of the posterior lens. This allows light to travel freely through the eye, so bringing back clear vision. POC occurs in around 25% of people who undergo cataract surgery, therefore laser treatment as part of cataract surgery aftercare is routinely carried out.

The procedure is painless, safe, and takes around 5-10 minutes to perform. The laser used is commonly referred to as YAG, and is a non-invasive and highly successful remedy for POC. Indeed, as it requires no incisions or stitches you can usually return to normal activities within hours.

Contact the Modern Cataract Surgery Center for the Ultimate in Cataract Surgery and Aftercare

The key to the most successful outcome for cataract surgery and aftercare is the skill of the surgeon. Brent Bellotte MD., the lead clinician at the Modern Cataract Surgery Center, is a globally renowned cataract specialist who’s pioneered many of the cutting-edge treatments available today.

His state-of-the-art clinical facility provides a one-stop-location for the ultimate in cataract treatments, laser vision correction, glaucoma treatments, and more, as well as all routine and emergency ophthalmology care.


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