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Question:
Can you tell me why posterior vitreous detachment is more common in people who have undergone cataract operations?

Answer:
Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) does appear to be more common in individuals who have had cataract surgery, although there is not a proven genuine "cause and effect" for this fact. The relationship is multi-factorial:

  • The vitreous changes that lead to vitreous liquefication, instability, and ultimately PVD are age-related, and so are the odds of significant cataracts and the need for surgery.
  • The removal of the cataract can allow shifts in the vitreous gel and perhaps increase the odds of PVD.
  • Biochemical changes in the vitreous gel occur following cataract surgery, and these appear to increase the likelihood of PVD, particularly if the posterior lens capsule is opened.
  • Unusual complications of cataract surgery can disrupt the integrity of the vitreous gel and increase the odds of PVD.

Answered by: Charles P. Wilkinson, MD Dr. Charles P. Wilkinson

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Aug 14, 2012

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