How safe is cataract surgery if I have myopia?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Myopia refers to the situation where light rays are focused in front of the retina and spans a spectrum from mild to severe. It can also have several different causes, but most commonly is due to an elongated eyeball. Some kinds of cataract can also cause increasing myopia by themselves.

Myopia, by itself, does not necessarily affect the safety of cataract surgery.

For experienced cataract surgeons, performing cataract surgery safely (without complications) even in very high myopes is not particularly difficult.

There are some issues that high myopes may have a higher risk for, independent of the technical success of the cataract removal itself.

For example, high myopes have a higher risk of retinal tears and retinal detachment [1], and this holds for the post-cataract surgery situation as well.

Calculations for the intraocular lens power may be somewhat less accurate for very high myopes, so there is a higher chance of a post-operative spectacle power that is different from what was targeted before surgery.

Ultimately, having a cataract is a condition that affects the quality of life and only gets worse, so once a cataract becomes bothersome, it needs to be removed regardless of whether someone is myopic or not.

The somewhat increased risks that high myopes may face during and after cataract surgery can be reduced by the experience of the surgeon, as well as vigilance during follow-up checks after surgery.


References:

1. Williams K, Hammond C. High myopia and its risks. Community eye health. 2019;32(105):5-6. Accessed December 17, 2019.

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