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Three years ago I was diagnosed with epiretinal membrane (or macular pucker, a layer of scar tissue that forms in the back of the eye) in both eyes and the beginning of cataracts in both eyes as well. The membranes have stayed the same but the cataracts have gotten worse and my vision has deteriorated somewhat. I have a couple of questions. When I was first diagnosed my vision really didn't interfere with my daily routine, but now it is getting to point where I think I should do something. Should I go ahead and have the cataracts taken care of first or the membranes? My thinking is to do the cataracts since they are progressing and the membranes are not. Also, will cataracts develop on the artificial lens in the event that I have the membrane surgery after the cataract surgery?
This is a very complex issue and one that cannot be answered fully without much more information. However, if your quality of life is compromised by poor vision, and the cataracts but not the membranes (after appropriate tests have been performed) appear to have progressed, cataract surgery would appear to be the proper choice.
Any subsequent membrane surgery should have no effect upon the artificial lens.
Answered by: Charles P. Wilkinson, MD
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Answered: Jun 10, 2014
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