This review covers the history, incidence, diagnosis, risk factors, pathophysiology and medical management of postoperative macular oedema (PCMO), with a particular emphasis on key contemporary studies and novel observations. The authors revisit the incidence of well-established risk factors including intraoperative complications such as posterior capsule rupture and preoperative factors including: diabetes mellitus, uveitis, retinal vein occlusion, epiretinal membrane. The role of topical glaucoma medications in PCMO is debated. Treatment strategies largely target suppression of inflammation. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids remain the mainstay in prophylaxis and treatment of PCMO. Other more novel treatment modalities are lacking in high quality trials and include: periocular corticosteroids, orbital floor triamcinolone, intravitreal triamcinolone, corticosteroid implants, intravitreal bevacizumab and pars plana vitrectomy. The authors highlight the main factor in reaching a conclusion is a result of a lack of consistency in defining PCMO and the resolution of PCMO (i.e. angiography, OCT, clinical) and explains why even large trials and systematic reviews come to contradictory conclusions.