Recovery of the anterior segment following extracapsular cataract extraction and posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation in 112 diabetic eyes was compared to that in 108 eyes of nondiabetic patients who underwent a similar procedure. The incidence of postoperative anterior segment complications was significantly higher in the diabetic than in the nondiabetic patients. The main complications were pigment dispersion, appearance of fibrin, development of posterior synechiae, and--rarely, and only in diabetic patients--pupillary block and transient iridal vascular congestion. The fibrin resolved following increased administration of steroids by means of eye drops and subconjunctival injections, with or without the addition of systemic steroids. Women were found to be at greater risk for development of posterior synechiae (P less than .025). Accumulation of fibrin was seen more often in women and in patients with preexisting diabetic retinopathy than in other patients, although the difference was not significant.