Monday, February 22, 2010

Complications From Glaucoma and Cataracts?

My mom has cataracts which are pretty bad. She also has a glaucoma condition - high pressure, which has been under control with eye drops but she needed more & stronger drops now. The pressure in the worse eye was about 24, the new drops lowered it to 16.

She has an Opthamologist who specializes in these things, and he recommends (elective) glaucoma surgery to install a stint as well as the cataract removal, but he is pretty adamant about doing them together because he says that if the pressure spikes up after cataract removal without the glaucoma procedure, it'll cause side effects making her sick - such as headaches, upset stomach, bleeding. He feels that she has a good chance of having these complicaitons. Does this really happen?

She's worried about whether she really needs both procedures or could get by with just the cataract removal (she's in her 80s)? On the other hand, having the procedure means no more eye drops. We're wondering if it really is a good idea to do both at the same time or if he's just trying to sell an extra procedure.

Oh, there is also a glaucoma laser procedure but she had that about 5 years ago and the Dr. now says that doing this again is not going to be sufficient. Its got to be a stint this time.

By not having the glaucoma surgery, is the condition going to get worse even with drops? Has anyone had complication/side effects from this surgery?

Also, after cataract removal does vision become 20/20? THe Dr. said it would, but I'm skeptical of that.


My mom is 79 and just had cataract surgery Monday morning on her left eye. Her cataracts are very bad and actually brown in color. Her surgery did not go well, she became very ill in the night and the pressure in her eye went into the 70's! The doctor had to lance her eye twice to relieve pressure; it lowered to mid 40's, but she had to be put into the hospital on IV and medication. She was released today with reading in the 20's and has to take meds and eye drops for glaucoma that was caused by this surgery. Yesterday she basically could see nothing but cloudiness and lots of black floaters; today it is a bit better, but she cannot see as well as before the surgery. She was told that she would have major improvement. I know this is not exactly the way it is for your mom, but just letting you know that complications can arise from just the cataract surgery alone. We are praying for this to clear up without furher surgery on this eye and hope this hasn't caused her permanent damage and glaucoma for life now. She sees her doctor on Friday and I will update. Maybe a second opinion would be a good idea for your mom.