bilateral cataracts

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • usually patients with bilateral cataracts are offered surgery for the second eye within 3 months of the first cataract operation
  • in general, bilateral simultaneous cataract extraction is not performed - this is because of the small risk of severe delayed complications e.g. bilateral endophthalmitis and consequent small risk of blindness
    • benefits of simultaneous bilateral cataract Extraction (SBCE) include - faster visual rehabilitation, fewer hospital visits, lower cost for the patient and for society
  • relative clinical indications for bilateral cataract surgery include:
    • when general anaesthesia (GA) is required to perform the cataract surgery safely and repeated GAs are contraindicated
    • people with bilateral cataract who cannot be assessed fully pre-operatively (due to disability) and who require a general anaesthetic for the procedure (1)