Overcoming the Challenges of Glaucoma and Cataract Surgery

It’s no secret that complications can arise during any kind of surgery. The goal is to overcome those challenges and give patients the best possible quality of life possible. It is very important to review every possibility so that cataract surgery can be as successful as possible for a glaucoma patient.

Taking a Straightforward Approach

It’s important to take a straightforward approach all the way from the routine eye exam to the conclusion of surgery. This means being honest about the effects of surgery in certain situations. For example, a patient who has had glaucoma surgery followed by cataract surgery may experience inflammation that causes glaucoma surgery to not be as effective. You can review this risk with your surgeon.

Other issues include glaucoma surgery worsening a cataract and cataract surgery causing eye pressure to increase. Although these things can seem frightening, it’s about the surgeon understanding the patient’s unique ocular situation so that options can be presented. Together, the surgeon and patient can determine what will most likely produce the best result. Here are possibilities:

  1. Cataract surgery can be performed alone.
  2. Glaucoma surgery can be performed alone.
  3. Glaucoma surgery and cataract surgery can be combined.

To determine the surgical route, it needs to be considered whether the cataract is causing more issues than glaucoma. Cataract surgery may be performed by itself with the possibility that medications will control eye pressure after surgery. It is also possible for cataract surgery to lower pressure, which is good for a glaucoma patient. If glaucoma medication has to be continued after surgery, it may be best for glaucoma surgery to be performed as well if the medications can cause complications.

Benefits of Surgery

There is a lot to consider when it comes to cataract and glaucoma surgeries. However, there are benefits that can be experienced, such as the restoration of central vision from cataract surgery and peripheral vision from a reduction in eye pressure. Usually, eye pressure improves after a combined cataract and glaucoma procedure. It is also possible for a person to not have to take glaucoma medications. Other times, medications can be eliminated completely. It is very important to discuss the expected risks and benefits when deciding which route you want your surgeon to take based on evaluation-based recommendations. It’s amazing how not being able to see properly can affect the quality of your life.

If you are in need of cataract or glaucoma surgery, or if you suspect you may have cataracts or glaucoma, be sure to contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Our highly trained and knowledgeable surgeons at Arizona Eye are here to help. Call our Glendale or Scottsdale locations today!

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