How Safe Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world. But how safe is it? This article aims to give you an understanding of the safety aspects involved.

Overview of Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens from your eye and replacing it with a clear artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is generally straightforward but, like any surgery, has some associated risks.

What Are the Risks?

The risks involved in cataract surgery are minimal but can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Detachment of the retina

How Are Risks Managed?

Your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) will perform tests before the surgery to minimise risks. You’ll also receive antibiotics to prevent infection and advice on post-operative care.

Frequency of the Procedure

Cataract surgery is a well-practised procedure performed hundreds of times a day in many countries, including South Africa. The high frequency means doctors are well-experienced in performing this surgery, further reducing risks.

Expertise Matters

The skills and experience of your ophthalmologist play a significant role in ensuring a safe and successful procedure. Always check the credentials and read reviews if available.

Post-Operative Care

Proper care after the surgery is crucial for a smooth recovery. Your doctor will guide you on how to take care of your eyes post-surgery to prevent any complications.


Cataract surgery is generally considered a safe and effective procedure, especially when performed by an experienced ophthalmologist. However, like any surgery, it’s essential to be aware of the risks and to follow post-operative care instructions carefully.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your ophthalmologist or other qualified health professional with any questions or concerns you may have about your eyesight. The most reliable advice is obtained through a consultation and inspection from a medical specialist.


Prepared in accordance with Section 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, No. 2 of 2000.
This document serves as the Information Manual as required by Section 51(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, No.2 of 2000 (the “Act”) for a Private Body.

 It provides information on the Records held, and the process that is to be followed to request access to such Records.