Can I Have Cataract Surgery If I Have Glaucoma?

Yes, it's possible to have cataract surgery if you have glaucoma.

In fact, in some cases, cataract surgery can lower high eye pressure, reduce the number of medications you need to manage your glaucoma, or possibly eliminate your need for glaucoma medication altogether.

Also, it may be possible for your cataract surgeon to perform a minimally invasive type of glaucoma surgery at the same time your cataract procedure is performed to address both conditions at once.

That said, extra caution is needed to monitor the intraocular eye pressure (IOP) of individuals with glaucoma who undergo cataract surgery.

IOP may be elevated in the hours after cataract surgery for any patient. Also, spikes in IOP can sometimes occur relatively soon after surgery.

For these reasons, it is essential for people with glaucoma to follow closely the instructions their cataract surgeon provides regarding use of glaucoma medications before and after their cataract procedure and to attend all scheduled visits after surgery.

Additional follow-up visits may be needed for glaucoma patients after cataract surgery to more closely monitor eye pressure and adjust medications for optimum management of their glaucoma.

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Dr. Vance ThompsonAbout the Reviewer: Vance Thompson, MD, FACS, is the director of refractive surgery at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, S.D. He also is professor of ophthalmology at the Sanford USD School of Medicine, a leading researcher in technologies for laser and implant vision correction and a member of All About Vision's editorial advisory board.

Page updated August 2017

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