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Risks of Phacoemulsification: A Guide from an Ophthalmologist

October 6, 2023

Phacoemulsification is a widely performed surgical procedure to remove cataracts and restore clear vision. While it is considered a safe and effective procedure, like any surgical intervention, it is essential to be aware of potential risks and complications. Phacoemulsification surgery is an advanced method that uses ultrasound energy to emulsify the nucleus, which is then removed through a micro-incision. Then, a tiny, flexible lens is put in the same spot. This whole process is quick, doesn’t need any stitches, doesn’t cause bleeding, and doesn’t hurt much. It helps you get better quickly.

In this article, we will discuss the risks associated with phacoemulsification, providing details for those considering or preparing for the procedure.

Who is more prone to the risks during phacoemulsification?

The following risk factors need to be considered before undergoing the phacoemulsification procedure:

  • Extremes of age
  • Other eye conditions
  • Complicated cataracts
  • Smoking
  • Having certain retinal disorders
  • Had eye surgery before.
  • Having a past problem with your eyes or an injury
  • Using certain medicines for a long time, especially ones like steroids
  • Having health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, or being very overweight

What are the risks of phacoemulsification for cataract removal?

The general risks of phacoemulsification may include:

  • Discomfort like mild pain, dryness, or itching for a few days after the surgery
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Persistent pain or inflammation
  • Blurry or decreased vision
  • Some might have an allergic reaction
  • Redness and discharge from the eye
  • There could be swelling and bruising around the eyelid area

Additionally, there is a long-term risk known as ‘secondary cataract’, which can develop at any time after the cataract surgery.

Regular follow-up appointments after surgery are crucial to monitor recovery progress and detect any potential complications early. If you experience any of these risks, it’s important to seek medical advice from an eye doctor promptly.

How to minimize the chances of risks after getting a phacoemulsification procedure?

Minimizing the chances of post-surgery risks of phacoemulsification involves taking some precautions and following medical advice, which includes:

  • Adhere to all the instructions provided by your eye surgeon
  • Protect your eyes
  • Wear eye protection
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Make sure that your environment is clean
  • Take all the prescribed eye drops or medications
  • Attend all the scheduled follow-up appointments
  • If you experience any unexpected symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately.

Rely on the expert’s words from Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai

Phacoemulsification is a highly effective and safe procedure for treating cataracts and restoring clear vision. While risks are minimal, it is essential to be aware of potential complications and to have a discussion with your ophthalmologist. By understanding these risks and following post-operative care instructions diligently, you can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome and enjoy improved vision.

At Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai, the eye surgeon will carefully evaluate each patient’s specific situation and make recommendations based on their individual circumstances. Always consult with our eye surgeon for personalized advice and recommendations.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.