Factors That Could Affect the Outcomes of Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery is an essential procedure for the effective treatment of cataracts. In recent decades, it has become the most common surgical procedure performed in the UK and many other countries around the world. This prominence has helped to establish extremely high success rates; however, there are some factors that could affect the outcomes of Cataract Surgery.

If you have been told you need surgery to remove cataracts in one or both of your eyes, it is likely you have a lot of questions about the procedure. While undergoing the procedure can be a daunting prospect, learning as much as possible about Cataract Surgery beforehand – including expected visual outcomes – can be extremely helpful.

What is the success rate of Cataract Surgery?

As already mentioned, Cataract Surgery has an extremely high success rate. This is largely thanks to the routine nature of the procedure in the UK (it is estimated that around 400,000 are carried out by the NHS every year in England alone!).

But what do we mean when we say “high success rate”? Well, it is estimated that around 98% of cataract surgeries conducted are considered successful. This means that in the vast majority of cases, the procedure is completed without any significant complications.

So, what factors could affect the chances of success when undergoing Cataract Surgery?

Some factors that could affect your visual outcomes following Cataract Surgery include:

  • Age
  • Existing refractive errors
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Ocular comorbidities


The development of cataracts is most commonly age-related. This means that the condition becomes more common as we age. For example, the prevalence of cataracts in those aged over 60 years old was recently estimated to be 54.38% compared with 16.97% of those aged 40-59.

Age can also be a factor affecting visual outcomes following Cataract Surgery. This is because older individuals may be at higher risk of experiencing surgical complications such as rupture of the posterior capsule, post-operative infection, raised ocular pressure, and corneal oedema (swelling).

Ocular Comorbidities

Older patients are also more likely to have a number of both ocular and systemic comorbidities such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Like cataracts itself, the prevalence of these conditions increases with age.

According to the results of the UK National Cataract Surgery Survey 1997-8, 1 in 3 participants had a pre-existing ocular condition that could significantly affect their surgery outcomes. It is estimated that patients with ocular comorbidities may be more than twice as likely to have visual acuity worse than 6/12 compared with patients without these conditions.

While these factors can have an impact on the expected outcomes of Laser Eye Surgery, choosing the right surgeon and clinic can help to ensure the best possible results. Private clinics, like London Vision Clinic, offer world-class expertise and a superior range of IOLs.

If you would like to learn more about your expected outcomes after Cataract Surgery, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today. Alternatively, Book a Consultation to start the process.