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35900 Bob Hope Drive
Ste 175
Rancho Mirage, California 92270

What is Complex Cataract Surgery?

Do you have cataracts? Cataract surgery is typically straightforward and takes 15 to 20 minutes for most patients.

After removing the cataract, your cataract surgeon will remove the natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens to allow you to see clearly. But sometimes, cataract surgery isn’t as straightforward, making complex cataract surgery necessary.

Keep reading to learn more about complex cataract surgery and what it can accomplish.

What is Complex Cataract Surgery?

Complex cataract surgery means that the chances of complications are higher than usual because of unique factors. These may include:

  • Certain features of the eye
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Underlying eye conditions
  • General patient factors

These reasons can make the procedure more challenging. Because of this, complex cataract surgery must be handled by a highly skilled and experienced surgeon like Dr. Tokuhara.

Complex cataract surgery is done when you can’t undergo routine cataract surgery. The procedure requires specialized surgical methods and equipment not commonly used in basic cataract surgery.

Although the same techniques may still be used, like laser eye surgery, extra steps are needed. Complex cataract surgery also involves more detailed pre-surgery preparation to address the complexities and ensure optimal results.

The procedure is crucial to ensure a safe and effective surgery, particularly if you have other pre-existing conditions.

Who Should Undergo Complex Cataract Surgery?

You may be a candidate for complex cataract surgery if you have one of the following in addition to cataracts:

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Corneal conditions
    • Keratoconus
    • Corneal swelling
    • Fuchs’ dystrophy
    • High astigmatism
    • Genetic corneal disorders
  • Past eye injuries and surgeries
    • Iris abnormalities
    • Small pupils
    • Floppy iris syndrome
    • Pseudoexfoliation syndrome
  • Retinal conditions
    • Macular degeneration
    • Past retinal surgery
  • Refractive errors
    • Extreme nearsightedness
    • High astigmatism
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Cataracts
    • White or dense cataracts
  • Inflammation and injections
    • Active uveitis
    • Past eye injections
  • Lens instability
    • Pre-operative phacodonesis
    • Lens subluxation

Examples of Complex Cataract Surgery

Complex cataract surgery is typically carefully planned to ensure the most optimal results for patients. However, standard cataract surgery can also become complex during the procedure if an unexpected complication occurs.

Complex cataract surgery may be necessary for the following conditions:

Floppy Iris Syndrome

Floppy iris is a syndrome where the iris is loose and more likely to prolapse during cataract surgery.

Miotic Pupils

A miotic pupil is a small, pinpoint pupil that doesn’t dilate or widen adequately. A miotic pupil prevents your cataract surgeon from viewing your cloudy, natural lens clearly.

Your surgeon may need to take extra steps to expand your pupil manually.

Once your pupil is dilated correctly, your cataract surgeon can access the natural lens where the cataract is, remove it, and implant your new IOL.

Co-Existing Eye Conditions

In some patients, complex cataract surgery is the only solution when you have several eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. When both co-occur, your cataract surgeon will take precautions to avoid worsening the other condition or perform a combined procedure where both eye conditions are treated.

Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome

When you have pseudoexfoliation syndrome, tiny flakes of dandruff-like materials build up in your eyes, including the zonules holding your lens in place. These materials can damage and weaken the zonules, causing lens instability.

As a result, the lens may collapse in the back of your eye. If the cloudy lens falls to the posterior, complex cataract surgery is required with special instruments to extract it from the back of your eye.

Weak Capsular Bag

When the capsular bag that holds your lens is too weak, your cataract surgeon may use a capsular support ring or permanent intraocular sutures to stabilize the lens capsule, keeping the new IOL in the correct position.

Pediatric Cataracts

Pediatric cataract surgery is also considered complex due to the measures taken to prevent risks specific to the unique structure of a child’s eye.

What to Expect During Complex Cataract Surgery

The steps involved in complex cataract surgery are usually different for every unique case to tackle the specific factors that demand the intricate procedure. Like standard cataract surgery, complex cataract surgery aims to remove and replace the cataract with an IOL to restore clear vision.

Complex cataract surgery improves vision and your quality of life. After your cataract procedure, you may have better vision than before. Depending on the IOL you choose, you may be able to reduce your dependence on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.

Because of the additional steps required, complex cataract surgery tends to be a longer procedure with a more prolonged recovery period. However, technological advances have made it a highly successful procedure.

Cataract surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, and many complex cataract surgeries are also performed on an outpatient basis.

Recovery after Complex Cataract Surgery

Before being sent home, your cataract surgeon will provide instructions to follow after complex cataract surgery. The best way to heal and recover promptly is by following all instructions as directed.

You’ll also have a shield put over your eye to protect it during the healing process. You’ll need to use the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops you’re given to prevent infection and inflammation.

Recovery from complex cataract surgery usually takes about 2-6 weeks. You’ll need to attend follow-up visits with your ophthalmologist to ensure your eyes heal as they should during this time.

Complex Cataract Surgery at Desert Vision Center

Dr. Tokuhara at Desert Vision Center utilizes cutting-edge technology and techniques to perform complex cataract surgery. He’ll tailor your procedure to address the complexity of your cataract surgery so you can have the best vision possible.

Are cataracts making it harder for you to see? Schedule your cataract consultation today at Desert Vision Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, to find out if you need complex cataract surgery. Everyone deserves better vision, so why not make yours a priority?

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Contact Us

35900 Bob Hope Drive
Suite 175
Rancho Mirage, California 92270

Phone: (760) 340-4700