According to the National Eye Institute, diabetes can affect surgical outcomes for cataract surgery. Diabetes can result in complications like retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, and infections.
The National Eye Institute found that these complications are more common in patients who have diabetes. Sometimes, diabetes has even led to blindness.
Many people with diabetes have other health conditions that make it difficult to undergo surgery without risking their lives.
In addition to diabetes, these conditions include heart disease, kidney disease, and lung disease. Your doctor has to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo surgery, and that your diabetes will not be a problem.
You also need to take into account how well you are able to control your blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and you are going to have cataract surgery, you should discuss your options with your doctor.
How Does Diabetes Affect Cataract Surgery?
Diabetes can affect cataract surgery in several ways. The first way is by causing complications that can affect the outcome of the surgery. The second way is by making it more difficult for your surgeon to perform the surgery.
Can Diabetic Patients Undergo Cataract Surgery?
It is a common misconception that diabetic patients cannot undergo cataract surgery. The best way to know if this is true or not for any specific patient is to consult an ophthalmologist.
A cataract is a clouding in the crystalline lens of the eye which causes reduced vision and increases the need for glasses. After a certain level of development of cataract, even glasses don’t help. Surgery can correct this condition, but first one must determine if they are a suitable candidate.
Patients who are diabetic have a higher risk of developing cataracts. Cataract surgery in such patients is more challenging as well. However, cataract surgery can still be performed on these patients. Your doctor will determine if you are a fit candidate for cataract surgery.
This is done by looking at your blood sugar levels and other health conditions. Your doctor will also examine your eyes and retina to determine if you are a good candidate.
Blood Sugar Levels for Cataract Surgery
A study was conducted where the correlation between blood sugar levels and cataract surgery success rates was examined. The study found that higher blood sugar levels led to a higher risk of complications.
The optimal blood glucose level before surgery is unknown, and there are no studies supporting any level. In general, it is known that perioperative hyperglycaemia (blood glucose levels >140–180 mg/dL (7.8–10.0 mmol/L) increase postoperative complications for a variety of surgeries other than cataracts.
A person undergoing a cataract surgery under topical or regional anaesthesia is generally awake, so they can take their normal antidiabetic medication immediately after surgery. In addition, patients can avoid hypo or hyperglycemia complications by early recognition of symptoms and signs.
Patients should be advised to check their blood sugar levels before surgery and to keep them within the normal range.
Diabetes and other complications are often treated with insulin. The goal of pre-surgery preparation is to achieve and maintain glycemic control and normal blood glucose levels.
What to Do When Blood Sugar Is High Before Surgery?
Blood sugar is the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. When your blood sugar is high, it can be a sign that you have diabetes or another medical condition. A person with diabetes may need to take medication to keep blood sugar levels normal.
Here are some things you can do if you have high blood sugar before surgery:
- Eat healthy food low in carbohydrates before the surgery;
- Find out if there are any special instructions about what to eat or drink for the next 24 hours;
- Follow these instructions carefully – they will help keep your blood sugar at a safe level.
If you have diabetes, you may need to adjust your diet and/or medications before surgery. Your doctor will tell you what to do.
How to Keep Blood Sugar Levels Normal After Surgery?
You may be asked to eat and drink certain foods or liquids after your surgery. If you have diabetes, your doctor may give you special instructions about what to eat or drink after surgery.
Here are some things you can do if you have high blood sugar after surgery:
- eat healthy food low in carbohydrates;
- drink plenty of fluids;
- check your blood sugar levels regularly;
- take your medication as prescribed;
- if you have any symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), contact your doctor immediately.
Cataract Surgery and Postoperative Complications in Diabetic Patients
Poorly controlled diabetes is a risk factor for delayed wound healing and increased chances of intra-ocular infections in the eye. The amount of sugar that a person has in their blood stream plays a big part in how quickly their body can heal from wounds. These wounds can lead to serious infections if not taken care of promptly.
Diabetes and poor wound healing are two things that can be easily avoided with proper treatment. It is important to keep your blood sugar levels in check by eating right and exercising regularly.
Diabetes affects the ocular health of the patients. Diabetic cataract is a common complication that occurs mainly because of the higher incidence of hyperglycemia and chronic inflammation in diabetes mellitus. The increased retinal oxidative stress, increased intraocular pressure, and decreased vascularity to retina results in a chronic exposure to hypoxia-like conditions.
The chronic ischemia leads to the activation of retinal glial cells, which results in the release of various cytokines and proinflammatory mediators. These mediators, in turn, lead to a vicious cycle of further inflammation and oxidative stress.
Is Cataract Surgery Safe for Diabetics?
Cataract surgery is a safe procedure that is often done on the older population, as it can help them see better and live independent lives. With the recent increase in diabetes cases, many people are wondering if cataract surgery is safe for diabetics.
The question of whether cataract surgery is safe for diabetics may be best answered by the vast experience of doctors who perform these surgeries on diabetic patients. There are no studies to suggest that cataract surgery poses any additional risk to diabetic patients.
However, it is important for diabetics to understand that they may have a higher risk for complications after cataract surgery, including infection – some infections can occur in the eye after surgery and problems with wound healing – if you have diabetes, you may have problems with wound healing after surgery.
Also, if you have diabetes, you may be more likely to develop dry eye – which can occur after cataract surgery, because diabetes can affect the tear glands.
It’s important to note that there are significant benefits of this type of surgery, including better vision and less risk of blindness even with diabetes.
Do Diabetics Take Longer to Heal After Cataract Surgery?
Diabetics have been found to take the same time to heal after cataract surgery as the non-diabetic people provided the blood sugar levels before, during and after cataract surgery remain normal.
A recent study has shown that patients with diabetes seem to have satisfactory healing process when undergoing cataract surgery.
Some of the patients experience delayed healing after cataract surgery. However, it is possible that some of these patients do not follow the post-surgery instructions.
Visual Outcome After Cataract Surgery in Diabetic Patients
One of the main purposes of cataract surgery is to restore vision. The lens of the eye becomes cloudy and cannot focus light on the retina, which is necessary for clear eyesight.
A recent study found that diabetic patients who have had cataract surgery may not experience as much improvement in visual outcome, as those who don’t have diabetes.
The finding suggests that the cataract surgery may lead to a longer recovery period. The study suggests that diabetic patients have longer wait times for cataract surgery and may require more follow-up reviews or even re-surgeries to manage any undesired complications.
The researchers in the study have recommended that diabetic patients have their cataract surgery performed sooner, preferably within one year of the diagnosis. The study involved over 2.4 million patients and was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.