Postoperative cataract surgery complications: cystoid macular oedema and epiretinal membrane

8 February 2023
Winter 2023

Kathryn Marshall MCOptom, an optometrist working in community practice in Scotland, describes the surgical complications that can lead to reduced visual outcomes.


In July 2021, a 70-year-old female patient attended a routine eye examination, reporting a gradual decrease in vision both for distance and near in both eyes. She was a driver and a non-smoker and otherwise asymptomatic.

  • General health: high blood pressure (well controlled), osteoporosis, breast cancer. No known allergies.
  • Ocular history: no previous hospital eye service (HES) visits.
  • Meds: statin (name unknown), amlodipine, letrozole and risedronic acid.
  • Family history: nil relevant issues.
  • Refraction and best corrected visual acuity (VA): 
  • Right eye (RE) +3.00/-0.50×90, 6/12, Add +2.75, N4.5 at 30cm.
  • Left eye (LE) +2.75/-1.00×50, 6/12, Add +2.75, N.6 at 30cm.
  • Pinhole testing showed no improvement in VA in either eye.

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