Risks of Cataract Surgery for Diabetics By William Goldstein on January 06, 2014

Diabetes is a frequently occurring malady in recent times and many patients who are scheduled for cataract surgery Michigan have been diagnosed with diabetes. Such patients have an increased risk of developing complications and consequent restriction of vision. Cataract surgery Michigan doctors always account for diabetes in their preoperative plans, pay attention to minute details during surgery during post-operative care.




A few patients, however, do suffer from problems. Even if diabetes is not present, there is about a one in a thousand chance of severe complications like infections. A second operation may also be necessary. When diabetes is present, a few problems may develop:

  • Macular edema

  • Complications arising from proliferative retinopathy

  • Greater chance of infections


Macular edema


This condition occurs when fluid collects in the back of the eye, in main area of retina. This will blur the central vision.


According to cataract surgery Michigan doctors, the treatment of such condition includes:

  • Addition of non-steroidal eye drops to the steroid drops that are part of the normal postop care

  • Giving steroid injections below the eye

  • Giving steroid injections in the eye itself

  • For patients with a history of previous diabetic eye disease, cataract surgery Michigan doctors advise the use of topical non-steroidal eyedrops in addition to the normal postop drops

  • If the patient already suffers from macular edema, it is advisable to control it for at least three months before the surgery is scheduled.


Cataract surgery and proliferative retinopathy


  • There are increased risks of macular edema if signs of proliferative retinopathy are already present when the cataract surgery is scheduled.

  • Patients who have not undergone laser eye surgery and have thick cataract should preferably have PRP  laser if possible before surgery is performed.

  • Since the chances of infection during this surgery are a little higher, care should be taken to minimize the risk of infection. Care should also be taken when cleaning and draping the lids with povidone iodine and during the treatment of blepharitis which may exist before the operation.

  • There is a greater risk of fibrinous uveitis, a higher than usual level of inflammation after surgery.


If it is possible, PRP laser should be done before the commencement of cataract surgery. Non-steroidal drops should be prescribed prior to cataract surgery for anyone suffering from retinopathy and this holds true especially for those with proliferative retinopathy, or previous macular edema. Most cataract patients with diabetes will have very good outcomes, especially if care is taken to prevent advancement of the disease. It is always better to wait as long as possible after treatment of the diabetes to perform any other eye surgery.

Related to This

Dr. William S. Goldstein

Laser Eye Care Center

William S. Goldstein, MD, has been practicing laser eye surgery since 1991. He was one of the first doctors to offer advanced eye care in all of Michigan and is a member of several prestigious organizations: 

  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons

If you are ready to enhance your vision, call our office at (586) 323-2020 or request a consultation online.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 47670 Van Dyke Ave  Shelby Township, MI

Shelby Charter Township Office

47670 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48317

Open Today 8:30am - 6:00pm

(586) 323-2020 Send a message