Risk factors for retinal detachment following cataract surgery

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2012 Jan;23(1):7-11. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e32834cd653.


Purpose of review: To review and evaluate the current literature on the incidence and risk factors for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) following cataract surgery.

Recent findings: RRD is a serious complication of cataract surgery that can occur in the early or late postoperative periods. Identifying factors that increase the risk of pseudophakic retinal detachment can aid in management. Recent studies support long established risk factors for retinal detachment including intraoperative complications such as posterior capsular rupture (PCR). In addition, the current literature further defines the risk for pseudophakic retinal detachment associated with younger age at time of surgery, high myopia, and male sex in several large retrospective studies. Two recent articles also examine the state of the vitreous before and after cataract surgery and find that patients are more likely to develop posterior vitreous detachment postoperatively, possibly contributing to the increased risk of RRD.

Summary: Younger age, high myopia, and male sex continue to be associated with higher risk of pseudophakic retinal detachment. Intraoperative complications such as PCR also increase the retinal detachment risk. Given the high volume of cataract surgeries performed each year, pseudophakic retinal detachment contributes significantly to visual morbidity in the United States and Europe.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology*
  • Risk Factors