Cataract Surgery: Is It Possible to Need It Done Twice?

Getting cataracts as a diagnosis is rather worrisome. The idea of having surgery to correct them can be scary as well. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. After all, who wants to think about having surgery on their eyes? No matter how clear your vision is after a cataract surgery, it can still be a little unnerving. Many people fear that they will have to undergo surgery either to get rid of cataracts or treat them anew.

Can A Person Get Cataract More Than Once?

To put it simply: no.

Cataracts happen when there’s a breakdown of proteins in the eye which make the natural lens. At that point, the proteins are starting to clump together, triggering a foggy film over the lens. In turn, that forms the cataract. During surgery, the natural lens that’s affected by cataracts is removed as a whole. It then gets switched out for a lens that’s artificial. 

So getting another cataract is literally impossible. A lot of people are delighted with their clearer, brighter vision after cataract surgery. Suddenly, a day comes when they’re not seeing as clearly as they did post-surgery. Did the cataract grow back? Is that possible? No.

It should be noted that there’s a condition post-cataract surgery with similar symptoms. While it’s generally referred to as “after-cataract,” the medical term is “posterior capsular opacity.”

Posterior Capsular Opacity? What’s That?

Behind the iris and pupil of the eye, inside of it, there is a natural lens with crystalline. It is what helps the eyes to focus. It’s the same one that cataract surgery removes when it’s faulty. That said, a lot of people don’t know that it’s located in the “capsule,” a thin membrane.

The whole point of the capsule membrane is for the natural lens to stay in position. When a cataract-affected natural lens gets taken out, the capsule’s front portion has to be removed for access to the cataract to be made available. However, the capsule’s back portion will stay there so that the replacement lens-which is artificial-will have support.

There is a possibility that the leftover back portion of the capsule will opacify (“fog up”). Vision will then end up blurry again, a lot like what it was like prior to cataract surgery. While the symptoms are a lot like cataract, it is not the same thing. 

Over 30% of patients can see this happen either several years down the line or not long after surgery.

What Is the Treatment For Posterior Capsular Opacity?

Posterior capsular opacity is generally treated best through a procedure that’s non-invasive. It’s referred to as a YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy. It uses a YAG laser for the capsule to be polished until it’s clear, which restores vision as light is let back in.


In a nutshell, it’s impossible for a person to get cataracts twice. However, there’s a condition with extremely similar symptoms: posterior capsular opacity. Cataracts are generally handled through surgery, while posterior capsular opacity is dealt with through a specific laser treatment.

Are you unsure if you need cataract surgery? Valley Laser Eye Centre is the vision correction centre for you! Set an appointment with us today!



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