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Cataract surgery after severe eye trauma 27 years later.

Posted by Ken Allen on June 11, 1999 at 17:37:25
I am currently at a dilemma and trying to make a serious decision. I suffered severe eye trauma when I was 13 years old due to a BB gun accident( 16 bb's in one eye, no this is not a joke, and I still have my eye) I am now 37.  I have basically 20/400 vision out of my eye. I have recently started have trouble with my eye(eye pain, eye wondering etc.) and consulted my ophthalmologist. (Same Dr. who treated me 25 years ago). It was his opinion that if I have the cataract removed, I would very possibly recover a portion of my eyesight in the injured eye. He referred me to a specialist at the University of Texas southwestern. I had an intensive eye examination and was referred to a retina specialist. The retina specialist confirmed some macular damage that I was aware of. I was told that I would probably have to eventually have the cataract removed anyway because it would probably harden and may leak. I was also told about the risks (double vision, more surgeries etc.) and that my surgery would definitely not be the normal cataract surgery. I know that if I have the cataract removed I will have some improved vision, but I can tell from the fog that I look through that I do indeed have a blind spot, due to the macular damage. I am concerned how this is going to effect me once the cataract is removed.
I currently have several choices. #1. Do nothing. #2. Have it removed and see what happens. #3. Wait several years and have it done later. I have lived this way since I was 13 and really have not had any problems. I do have pretty decent peripheral vision. Any information that you could provide me that may aid in my decision would be very appreciative.
Posted by hfhs md - NI on June 11, 1999 at 23:19:04
You have summarized the options well.  The decision is really up to you.  If the cataract is not causing an acute problem, it does not have to be removed.  If it is removed, you may (or may not) see better.  If the eye wonders, double vision after the surgery may be a problem which could require subsequent surgery.
You have to decide if the vision is currently OK and how much you would benefit from improved vision in that eye.
This decision is best made in conjunction with your ophthalmologist who can explain in detail the risks benefits and alternatives to all of the options.
I cannot give more specific opinions without examining you.
This information is for educational purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.

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