Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Can PCO develop and be diagnosed one week after cataract surgery?     

Answer:
Yes, PCO (posterior capsular opacity) is a clouding of the membrane that supports the intraocular lens. It is the back wall of the capsule that encloses the inner portion of the human crystalline lens. It is essential to have this membrane intact during the cataract surgery to prevent vitreous prolapse and possible complications. This membrane is about as thick as a couple of red blood cells. Your ophthalmologist works on this surface of this membrane during cataract surgery and strives to exercise the greatest caution so as not to tear or rupture this membrane. On occasion, some portion of the cataract will not separate from the membrane. The surgeon has to make the decision of being more aggressive in removing the smudge and risking those complications or leaving the smudge in place, only to go back after the cataract and remove the smudge safely with a YAG laser. The avoidance of this risk shows your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) knows what he/she is doing.

Answered by: Wayne Bizer, DO Dr. Wayne Bizer

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Oct 18, 2012

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