Cataract surgery is usually very successful, but some children may experience complications and need further treatment.
Even if a child's cataracts are successfully removed during surgery,their vision may stillbe affected by other eye conditions.
For example, Lazy eye can occur if there's weaker vision in one eye. The brain ignores the visual signals coming from the weaker eye, which leads to the vision in the affected eyenot developing properly.
Lazy eye will need further treatment, usually wearing a patch over the stronger eye, although it may not always be possible to fully correct the problem.
If your child has an artificial lens fitted during cataract surgery, the mainrisk is a condition called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This is where part of the lens capsule (the "pocket" that the lens sits inside) thickens and causes cloudy vision. This isn't the cataract returning, but iscaused bycells growing over the artificial lens.
PCO iscommon after cataract surgery where an artificial lens is implanted, and it usually develops within four to 12 months of having the operation.
If your child develops PCO, they may need another operation to correct it. Laser eye surgery, where energy beams cut through part of the eye,may be used. During the procedure, the cloudy part of the lens capsule will be removed, with enough left to continue holding the artificial lens in place.
The procedure should only take around 15 minutes, and vision should be improved immediately or within a few days. As no surgical incisions or stitches are necessary, your child can usually return to their normal activities straight away.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) website has more information about laser treatment for posterior capsule opacification (PCO) .
Other complications that can occur after an operation to remove childhood cataracts include:
In many cases, medication or further surgery will be required to treat these problems if they develop.
If your child has any signs of pain, bleeding, or a lot of stickiness or redness in or around their eye after surgery, you shouldimmediately contact the hospital where the operation was carried out.
Find out about childhood cataracts which occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, resulting in blurred or misty vision.
Symptoms of childhood cataracts can vary depending on how cloudy the lens is, where the cloudiness is in the lens and whether one or both eyes are affected.
Read about the possible causes of childhood cataracts including genes and genetic conditions and infections during pregnancy, such as rubella, chickenpox and toxoplasmosis.
Find out how childhood cataracts are diagnosed with the help of newborn screening, vision tests during early childhood and referral to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).
Read about the treatment options for childhood cataracts. Cataract surgery will usually only be recommended if your child's vision is affected.
Read about the complications of cataract surgery, including posterior capsule opacification (PCO) where part of the lens capsule thickens, causing cloudy vision.