Use of antimicrobials to prevent postoperative infection in patients with cataracts

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Despite the high frequency of cataract surgery, there are still no definitive studies on antibiotic prophylaxis against endophthalmitis after cataract surgery. Most surgeons follow an empiric approach. The results of several recent studies shed additional light on this complex topic. There is better knowledge of the usual source of the infection and the specific organisms incriminated. This review presents some principles of prophylactic treatment and selected literature that addresses the effectiveness of antisepsis, topical preoperative antibiotics, intracameral antibiotics, subconjunctival antibiotics, systemic antibiotics, and postoperative antibiotics. The worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance should temper our approach. Some organizational statements are reviewed, and personal recommendations are offered. Controversy still abounds.

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