Optimizing number of postoperative visits after cataract surgery – a safety perspective

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate safety perspectives, when the standard routine after cataract surgery is no planned postoperative visit.

Methods

A prospective, observational cohort study was performed on all cases of cataract surgery during a 1-year period, at one institution (n=1249). The study group was all patients following the standard procedure of the clinic. As a control group all patients having surgery during one month (March) was chosen. All these patients had a planned postoperative visit. The standard routine is no planned postoperative visit. A postoperative visit is planned if there are other significant eye diseases, for instance glaucoma, wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Outcome measures were; any planned postoperative visit, any complications and/or adverse events, postoperative visual acuity and any postoperative control/contact initiated by the patient.

Results

There were no differences in age, sex, complications/adverse events and postoperative visual acuity between the study group and control group. 9 percent of the patients initiated a postoperative contact. 26% of the patients who initiated postoperative contact had also a scheduled visit. Reasons for unplanned contacts were visual disturbance, redness and/or chafing, pain and anxiety. Most unplanned contacts (68%) initiated by the patients were first eye surgery.

Conclusion

It is possible refraining from planned postoperative visits in cases of uncomplicated cataract surgery. Before surgery patients with comorbidities need individual planning of their postoperative care. Preoperative information is important and the clinic should have resources to answer questions from patients and be prepared for the need of unplanned additional postoperative visits.

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