What Complications Can Result From Epiretinal Membrane Removal?


Quick Answer

Epiretinal membrane removal can cause complications such as endophthalmitis, which may lead to blindness, retinal detachment and the progression of cataract. Other risks include bleeding, double vision, droopy eyelids and loss of vision, states RetinaPhysicians.com.

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The surgical procedure involved in the removal of an epiretinal membrane carries the risk of postoperative infections that may lead to partial or complete blindness in the affected eye, claims RetinaPhysicians.com. However, these infections, such as endophthalmitis, are rare and only occur once in every 1,000 surgeries. The risk of retinal detachment occurs in one to two of every 100 instances of epiretinal membrane removal. This surgical procedure may also cause the lens in the eye to become cloudy and, subsequently, precipitate the progression of a cataract. However, this risk is not a concern for patients who had cataract surgery prior to undergoing epiretinal membrane removal.

Physicians treat an epiretinal membrane with vitrectomy surgery if it causes a significant disturbance to vision. The level of improvement in vision that a patient attains after this surgery depends on the condition of the patient before surgery, the severity of the epiretinal membrane and the existence of other ocular conditions, states RetinaPhysicians.com. Patients who undergo surgery have a 75 percent chance of improvement, a 20 percent chance of no improvement and a 5 percent chance of worsening existing symptoms, according to the Retina Group.

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