5 Risk Factors for Endophthalmitis After Cataract Surgery

Jul 20, 2022 | Optometry

5 Risk Factors for Endophthalmitis After Cataract Surgery

During cataract surgery, ophthalmologists remove the cataract that has clouded the patient’s eye and replace it with an intraocular lens. It is one of the most common surgeries performed today, but unfortunately, following the surgery, some patients have developed endophthalmitis, an infection that affects eye tissues and fluids. Read on to learn about five risk factors that can contribute to the development of endophthalmitis after cataract surgery.

Complex Cataract Procedures

One of the first and most indicative risk factors for endophthalmitis is a complicated cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is relatively simple, but often, complications can arise that make the surgery more intensive than initially thought. In surgeries such as these, where there are more variables at play, the risk factor for endophthalmitis is higher.

A History of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Cataract surgeons needs to take into consideration the patient’s previous medical history, such as whether they have or are predisposed to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. When someone has this condition, they will often have new vessels growing on the surface of their retina, leading to loss of vision. Current treatments take care of these new vessels, but it doesn’t stop them from growing altogether. This growth can come back later and interfere with cataract surgery, putting patients at a higher risk of endophthalmitis.

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

Endophthalmitis can also be triggered when someone has diabetic macular edema. When someone has diabetes, they are more prone to complications in their body, such as DME, where fluid accumulates in the central part of their retina. This issue is problematic in and of itself, but it can lead to further problems when a patient may need to undergo cataract surgery on top of it.

Concurrent Vitreous Procedures

Endophthalmitis also connects to concurrent vitreous procedures in patients. The vitreous body is the clear gel that fills the space between the eyeball’s lens and retina. There are numerous procedures that some patients must undergo because of issues with their vitreous body, and a lot of these procedures can heighten the risk for endophthalmitis.


Another significant risk factor that doctors and patients need to be aware of is multiethnicity. Several ocular diseases vary in prevalence, depending on the patient’s ethnic group/race. It is a risk factor to take note of for endophthalmitis, especially while other indications are in play.

After identifying these five risk factors for endophthalmitis, ophthalmologists can be better prepared to protect their patients from developing the infection after their cataract surgery. We may not be able to treat endophthalmitis at Automated Ophthalmics, but we can provide ophthalmologists with tonopen tip covers and other equipment they need to diagnose the condition.