What are the possible complications of macular hole surgery?

It's unlikely that you'll suffer harmful effects from a macular hole operation.

However, you should be aware of these six possible complications:

  • Failure of the hole to close. This happens in 1-2 out of 10 patients.If the hole fails to close, your vision may be a little worse than before the surgery.It's usually possible to repeat the surgery.
  • Cataract . This means the natural lens in your eye has gone cloudy.You'll almost certainly get a cataract after the surgery, usually within a year, if you've not already had a cataract operation.The cataract may be removed at the sametime the hole is being repaired.
  • Retinal detachment . The retina detaches from the back of the eye in 1-2% of patients having macular hole surgery. This can potentially cause blindness, but it's usually repairable in a further operation.
  • Bleeding . This occurs very rarely, but severe bleeding within the eye can result in blindness.
  • Infection . This is also very rare, occurring in an estimated1 in 1,000 patients. Infection needs further treatment and could lead to blindness.
  • Raised eye pressure . An increase in pressure within the eye is quite common in the days after macular hole surgery, usually due to the expanding gas bubble. In most cases, it's short-lived and controlledwith extra eye drops or tablets to reduce the pressure, protecting the eye from damage. If the high pressure is extreme or becomes prolonged, there may be some damage to the optic nerve as a result.
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018