PURPOSE: To evaluate the defocus curves of 4 presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses (IOLs). SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. DESIGN: Prospective case series. METHODS: Patients included in the study had bilateral surgery with implantation of diffractive panfocal, diffractive trifocal, segmental refractive (SegRef), or extended-depth-of-focus (EDOF) presbyopia-correcting IOLs. The uncorrected (UDVA) and corrected (CDVA) distance visual acuities, uncorrected intermediate and near visual acuities, distance-corrected intermediate (DCIVA) and near (DCNVA) visual acuities, defocus curve, and spectacle independence were measured. RESULTS: The UDVA and CDVA were not significantly different between groups (P > .05); however, the EDOF group had worse near CDVA (P < .001). The trifocal and EDOF groups showed better DCIVA than the panfocal and SegRef group at 80 cm (P < .001); the EDOF and panfocal groups had comparable DCIVA at 60 cm (P > .05). Defocus curves showed no significant between-group differences from 4 m to 2 m (P > .05). The EDOF group had better visual acuity from 1 m to 67 cm than the trifocal and SegRef groups and better visual acuity than the panfocal group at 1 m (P > .05). Compared with the other IOLs, the panfocal IOL yielded significantly better visual acuity at 50 cm (P < .001) and the EDOF IOL worse visual acuity at 40 cm (P < .01). There was a significant difference in spectacle independence between the panfocal group and EDOF group (P < .05) but no difference between the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: The 4 IOLs provided equally good CDVA. The EDOF IOL yielded slightly better DCIVA but worse DCNVA than the other IOLs. Only the panfocal IOL gave better DCIVA at 50 cm.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of a comprehensive cataract surgery curriculum on the incidence of intraoperative complications. DESIGN: We retrospectively compared the total number of cataract surgeries that the residents performed in all of the teaching sites, and the incidences of intraoperative complications (anterior capsule tear, posterior capsule rent, vitreous loss, anterior vitrectomy, zonular dialysis, iris trauma, hemorrhage, dropped lens fragment, corneal wound burn, incorrect intraocular lens) for the surgeries performed at Massachusetts Eye & Ear by residents in the pre-intervention group (residents graduating in 2004 and 2005), before the implementation of a surgical curriculum, and the residents in the post-intervention group (residents graduating in 2014 and 2015). SETTING: Ophthalmology residency program at a major academic institution. PARTICIPANTS: Residents graduating in 2004, 2005, 2014, and 2015. RESULTS: We reviewed 4373 charts. 2086 of those surgeries were performed at Massachusetts Eye & Ear. The incidence of posterior capsule rent/vitreous loss/anterior vitrectomy was lower in the post-intervention group (1.4% versus 7.7%, p < 0.0001). Other complications were also lower in the post-intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a comprehensive cataract surgery curriculum focusing on pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative interventions, with an emphasis on patient outcomes resulted in a decrease in the rate of intraoperative complications.
PURPOSE: To ascertain the incidence of unexpected management changes at the postoperative week 1 visit in asymptomatic patients who have had an uncomplicated cataract surgery and a routine postoperative day 1 examination. DESIGN: Retrospective observational study. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all cases of cataract extraction by phacoemulsification with intraocular lens insertion performed by the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. The preoperative consultation, operative report, and postoperative day 1 and week 1 (postoperative days 5-14) visits were reviewed. Cases with intraoperative complications, as well as clinical findings at postoperative day 1 requiring close follow-up, were excluded. The main outcome measure was incidence of unexpected management changes at the postoperative week 1 visit after cataract surgery, defined as an unanticipated change in postoperative drops, additional procedures, or urgent referral to a specialty service. RESULTS: Overall, 1938 surgical cases of 1471 patients were reviewed, and 1510 cases (77.9%) underwent uncomplicated phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation with a routine postoperative day 1 examination. Of these 1510 cases, 238 (15.8%) reported symptoms at the postoperative week 1 visit, including flashes, floaters, redness, pain, or decreased vision, which warranted an examination. In total, 1272 cases were asymptomatic, and only 11 of these cases (0.9%) had an unexpected management change at postoperative week 1. Eight of 11 patients were asymptomatic steroid responders requiring alteration of their postoperative drops. Two of these patients had an intraocular pressure >30 mm Hg. CONCLUSIONS: Unexpected management changes at the postoperative week 1 timepoint after cataract surgery are rare in asymptomatic patients who have had uncomplicated cataract surgery and a routine postoperative day 1 examination. Limited data are available to outline an optimal postoperative regimen after cataract surgery. The results of this study suggest that postoperative week 1 examinations could potentially be performed on an as-needed basis in the appropriate subgroup of patients after cataract surgery.
PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes of unilateral cataract surgery in children 7 to 24 months of age. DESIGN: Retrospective case series at 10 Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) sites. PARTICIPANTS: The Toddler Aphakia and Pseudophakia Study is a registry of children treated by surgeons who participated in the IATS. METHODS: Children underwent unilateral cataract surgery with or without intraocular lens (IOL) placement during the IATS enrollment years of 2004 and 2010. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intraoperative complications, adverse events (AEs), visual acuity, and strabismus. RESULTS: Fifty-six children were included with a mean postoperative follow-up of 47.6 months. Median age at cataract surgery was 13.9 months (range, 7.2-22.9). Ninety-two percent received a primary IOL. Intraoperative complications occurred in 4 patients (7%). At 5 years of age, visual acuity of treated eyes was very good (≥20/40) in 11% and poor (≤20/200) in 44%. Adverse events were identified in 24%, with a 4% incidence of glaucoma suspect. An additional unplanned intraocular surgery occurred in 14% of children. Neither AEs nor intraocular reoperations were more common for children with surgery at 7 to 12 months of age than for those who underwent surgery at 13 to 24 months of age (AE rate, 21% vs. 25% [P = 0.60]; reoperation rate, 13% vs. 16% [P = 1.00]). CONCLUSIONS: Although most children underwent IOL implantation concurrent with unilateral cataract removal, the incidence of complications, reoperations, and glaucoma was low when surgery was performed between 7 and 24 months of age and compared favorably with same-site IATS data for infants undergoing surgery before 7 months of age. Our study showed that IOL implantation is relatively safe in children older than 6 months and younger than 2 years.
Diplopia after cataract extraction is an unexpected outcome for the patient and often a source of confusion for the physician, owing to its relative infrequency. This article reviews the pertinent literature on the subject. Mechanisms include anesthetic myotoxicity, surgical trauma, optical aberrations, cortical disorders in patients with congenital strabismus, and the unmasking of previously unnoticed ocular misalignment. As the population continues to age and cataract extraction is performed in increasing volume, familiarity with this uncommon but important outcome may help to clarify and effectively treat post-cataract-extraction diplopia.
Importance: Routine preoperative medical testing is not recommended for patients undergoing low-risk surgery, but testing is common before surgery. A 30-day preoperative testing window is conventionally used for study purposes; however, the extent of routine testing that occurs prior to that point is unknown.
Objective: To improve on existing cost estimates by identifying all routine preoperative testing that takes place after the decision is made to perform cataract surgery.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study assessed preoperative care in a 50% sample of Medicare beneficiaries older than 66 years who underwent ambulatory cataract surgery in 2011. Data analysis was completed from March 2016 to October 2017.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Using ocular biometry as a procedure-specific indicator to mark the start of the routine preoperative testing window, we measured testing rates in the interval between ocular biometry and cataract surgery and compared this with testing rates in the 6 months preceding biometry. We estimated the total cost of testing that occurred between biometry and cataract surgery.
Results: A total of 440 857 patients underwent cataract surgery. A total of 423 710 (96.1%) had an ocular biometry claim before index surgery, of whom 264 514 (60.0%) were female; the mean (SD) age of the cohort was 76.1 (6.2) years. A total of 111 998 (25.4%) underwent surgery more than 30 days after biometry. Among patients with a biometry claim, the mean number of tests/patient/month increased from 1.1 in the baseline period to 1.7 in the interval between biometry and cataract surgery. Although preoperative testing peaked in all patients in the 30 days preceding surgery (1.8 tests/patient/month), the subset of patients with no overlap between postbiometry and presurgery periods experienced increased testing rates to 1.8 tests per patient per month in the 30 days after biometry, regardless of the elapsed time between biometry and surgery. The total estimated cost of routine preoperative testing in the full cohort was $22.7 million; we estimate that routine preoperative testing costs Medicare up to $45.4 million annually.
Conclusions and Relevance: In this study of Medicare beneficiaries, routine preoperative medical testing occurs more often and is costlier than has been reported previously. Extra costs are attributable to testing that occurs prior to the 30-day window preceding surgery. As a cost-cutting measure, routine preoperative medical testing should be avoided in patients with cataracts throughout the interval between ocular biometry and cataract surgery.
PURPOSE: Delaying cataract surgery is associated with an increased risk of falls, but whether routine preoperative testing delays cataract surgery long enough to cause clinical harm is unknown. We sought to determine whether the use of routine preoperative testing leads to harm in the form of delayed surgery and falls in Medicare beneficiaries awaiting cataract surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational cohort study using 2006-2014 Medicare claims. PARTICIPANTS: Medicare beneficiaries 66+ years of age with a Current Procedural Terminology claim for ocular biometry. METHODS: We measured the mean and median number of days between biometry and cataract surgery, calculated the proportion of patients waiting ≥ 30 days or ≥ 90 days for surgery, and determined the odds of sustaining a fall within 90 days of biometry among patients of high-testing physicians (testing performed in ≥ 75% of their patients) compared with patients of low-testing physicians. We also estimated the number of days of delay attributable to high-testing physicians. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of falls occurring between biometry and surgery, odds of falling within 90 days of biometry, and estimated delay associated with physician testing behavior. RESULTS: Of 248 345 beneficiaries, 16.4% were patients of high-testing physicians. More patients of high-testing physicians waited ≥ 30 days and ≥ 90 days to undergo surgery (31.4% and 8.2% vs. 25.0% and 5.5%, respectively; P < 0.0001 for both). Falls before surgery in patients of high-testing physicians increased by 43% within the 90 days after ocular biometry (1.0% vs. 0.7%; P < 0.0001). The adjusted odds ratio of falling within 90 days of biometry in patients of high-testing physicians versus low-testing physicians was 1.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.19; P = 0.008). After adjusting for surgical wait time, the odds ratio decreased to 1.07 (95% CI, 1.00-1.15; P = 0.06). The delay associated with having a high-testing physician was approximately 8 days (estimate, 7.97 days; 95% CI, 6.40-9.55 days; P < 0.0001). Other factors associated with delayed surgery included patient race (non-White), Northeast region, ophthalmologist ≤ 40 years of age, and low surgical volume. CONCLUSIONS: Overuse of routine preoperative medical testing by high-testing physicians is associated with delayed surgery and increased falls in cataract patients awaiting surgery.
PURPOSE: To compare the operating room performance of ophthalmology residents trained by traditional wet-lab versus surgical simulation on the continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (CCC) portion of cataract surgery. SETTING: Academic tertiary referral center. DESIGN: Prospective randomized study. METHODS: Residents who chose to participate and provided informed consent were randomized to preoperative CCC training in the wet lab or on a simulator. Residents completed pre-practice demographic questionnaires including habits of daily living. After completion of their preoperative training (wet lab versus simulator), residents performed their first CCC of the clinical rotation under the direct supervision of an attending physician as part of their standard training at the facility. Residents then completed satisfaction questionnaires regarding their preoperative training. Two attending surgeons reviewed and graded each video of operating room performance. The mean score between the 2 attending physicians was used as the individual performance score for each of the 12 performance criteria. The overall score was calculated as the sum of these 12 individual performance scores (standardized). RESULTS: Ten residents trained in the wet lab and 11 on the simulator. There was no significant difference in overall score between the 2 groups (P=.608). There was no significant difference in any individual score except time (wet-lab group faster than simulator group) (P=.038). CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative simulator training prepared residents for the operating room as effectively as the wet lab. The time to pass the simulator curriculum was predictive of the time and overall performance in the operating room. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
OBJECTIVES: To assess resident cataract surgery outcomes at an academic teaching institution using 2 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) cataract measures, which are intended to serve as a proxy for quality of surgical care. DESIGN: A retrospective review comparing cataract surgery outcomes of resident and attending surgeries using 2 PQRS measures: (1) 20/40 or better best-corrected visual acuity following cataract surgery and (2) complications within 30 days following cataract surgery requiring additional surgical procedures. SETTING: An academic ophthalmology center. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2487 surgeries performed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012 were included in this study. RESULTS: Of all 2487 cataract surgeries, 98.95% achieved a vision of at least 20/40 at or before 90 days, and only 0.64% required a return to the operating room for postoperative complications. Of resident surgeries, 98.9% (1370 of 1385) achieved 20/40 vision at or before 90 days follow-up. Of attending surgeries, 99.0% (1091 of 1102) achieved 20/40 vision at or before 90 days (p = 1.00). There were no statistically significant differences between resident and attending cases regarding postoperative complications needing a return to the operating room (i.e., 0.65%, or 9 of 1385 resident cases vs 0.64%, or 7 of 1102 attending cases; p = 1.00). CONCLUSIONS: Using PQRS Medicare cataract surgery criteria, this study establishes new benchmarks for cataract surgery outcomes at a teaching institution and supplemental measure for assessing resident surgical performance. Excellent cataract outcomes were achieved at an academic teaching institution, with results exceeding Medicare thresholds of 50%. There appears to be no significant difference in supervised trainee and attending cataract surgeon outcomes using 2 PQRS measures currently used by Medicare to determine physician reimbursement and quality of care.
BACKGROUND: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterized by benign hamartomas occurring in multiple organ systems including the brain, kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, skin, and the eyes. Typical retinal findings associated with TSC include astrocytic hamartoma and achromic patch. While rare cases of cataract occurring in the setting of TSC have been reported, this is the first analysis of a large series of individuals with TSC that aims to quantify the frequency of this finding and to describe its clinical and genetic associations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review of 244 patients from the Herscot Center for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex at the Massachusetts General Hospital who underwent complete ophthalmic examination. We describe the clinical and genetic findings in five individuals with TSC and juvenile cataract. RESULTS: Four of five cases (80%) were unilateral. The cataract was described as having an anterior subcapsular component in 3 of 5 cases (60%). Three individuals (60%) underwent lensectomy with intraocular lens (IOL) implant and two individuals (40%) were observed. Genetic testing revealed a known disease-causing mutation in in 100% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Recent evidence suggests that mTOR signaling may play a role in cataract formation which could explain the relatively high incidence of juvenile cataract in this population. Juvenile cataract is a potentially under-recognized ocular manifestation of TSC.
Tissue adhesives are gaining popularity in ophthalmology, as they could potentially reduce the complications associated with current surgical methods. An ideal tissue adhesive should have superior tensile strength, be non-toxic and anti-inflammatory, improve efficiency and be cost-effective. Both synthetic and biological glues are available. The primary synthetic glues include cyanoacrylate and the recently introduced polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives, while most biological glues are composed of fibrin. Cyanoacrylate has a high tensile strength, but rapidly polymerises upon contact with any fluid and has been associated with histotoxicity. Fibrin induces less toxic and inflammatory reactions, and its polymerisation time can be controlled. Tensile strength studies have shown that fibrin is not as strong as cyanoacrylate. While more research is needed, PEG variants currently appear to have the most promise. These glues are non-toxic, strong and time-effective. Through MEDLINE and internet searches, this paper presents a systematic review of the current applications of surgical adhesives to corneal, glaucoma, retinal, cataract and strabismus surgeries. Our review suggests that surgical adhesives have promise to reduce problems in current ophthalmic surgical procedures.
Intraoperative wavefront aberrometry is a relatively new technology that aims to improve refractive outcomes following cataract surgery by optimizing the spherical power of the intraocular lens implant or calculating the appropriate axis and power of toric lenses during cataract surgery in an aphakic state. This article reviews the literature on intraoperative wavefront aberrometry and provides a critical assessment of the benefits and shortcomings of that technology.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Continuous curvilinear manual capsulorhexis is currently the standard of cataract surgery. In the past several years, new technologies have been developed to improve the consistency and safety of capsulorhexis creation. This article reviews the most recent technologies in capsulotomy formation and their advantages and disadvantages. RECENT FINDINGS: Guidance devices, femtosecond laser capsulotomy and precision pulse capsulotomy improve the centration, circularity and precision of anterior capsulorhexis and capsulotomy. These developments show particular promise for complex cataract surgeries, though clinical data on the refractive outcomes and complication rates of these technologies are currently limited and warrant additional investigation. SUMMARY: New technological advances in capsulorhexis help surgeons achieve a more ideal capsulotomy geometry. Whether this translates into more predictable refractive outcomes and safer surgeries remains an area of future study.
Connexins are the structural components of gap junctions and hemichannels that mediate the communication and exchange of small molecules between cells, and between the intracellular and extracellular environment, respectively. Connexin (Cx) 46 is predominately expressed in lens fiber cells, where they function in maintaining the homeostasis and transparency of the lens. Cx46 mutations are associated with impairment of channel function, which results in the development of congenital cataracts. Cx46 gap junctions and hemichannels are closely regulated by multiple mechanisms. Key regulators of Cx46 channel function include Ca and calmodulin (CaM). Ca plays an essential role in lens homeostasis, and its dysregulation causes cataracts. Ca associated CaM is a well-established inhibitor of gap junction coupling. Recent studies suggest that elevated intracellular Ca activates Cx hemichannels in lens fiber cells and Cx46 directly interacts with CaM. A Cx46 site mutation (Cx46-G143R), which is associated with congenital Coppock cataracts, shows an increased Cx46-CaM interaction and this interaction is insensitive to Ca, given that depletion of Ca reduces the interaction between CaM and wild-type Cx46. Moreover, inhibition of CaM function greatly reduces the hemichannel activity in the Cx46 G143R mutant. These research findings suggest a new regulatory mechanism by which enhanced association of Cx46 with CaM leads to the increase in hemichannel activity and dysregulation may lead to cataract development. In this review, we will first discuss the involvement of Ca/CaM in lens homeostasis and pathology, and follow by providing a general overview of Ca/CaM in the regulation of Cx46 gap junctions. We discuss the most recent studies concerning the molecular mechanism of Ca/CaM in regulating Cx46 hemichannels. Finally, we will offer perspectives of the impacts of Ca/CaM and dysregulation on Cx46 channels and vice versa.
Oncoming headlight glare (HLG) reduces the visibility of objects on the road and may affect the safety of nighttime driving. With cataracts, the impact of oncoming HLG is expected to be more severe. We used our custom HLG simulator in a driving simulator to measure the impact of HLG on pedestrian detection by normal vision subjects with simulated mild cataracts and by patients with real cataracts.Five normal vision subjects drove nighttime scenarios under two HLG conditions (with and without HLG: HLGY and HLGN, respectively), and three vision conditions (with plano lens, simulated mild cataract, and optically blurred clip-on). Mild cataract was simulated by applying a 0.8 Bangerter diffusion foil to clip-on plano lenses. The visual acuity with the optically blurred lenses was individually chosen to match the visual acuity with the simulated cataract clip-ons under HLGN. Each nighttime driving scenario contains 24 pedestrian encounters, encompassing four pedestrian types; walking along the left side of the road, walking along the right side of the road, crossing the road from left to right, and crossing the road from right to left. Pedestrian detection performances of five patients with mild real cataracts were measured using the same setup. The cataract patients were tested only in HLGY and HLGN conditions. Participants' visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were also measured in the simulator with and without stationary HLG.For normal vision subjects, both the presence of oncoming HLG and wearing the simulated cataract clip-on reduced pedestrian detection performance. The subjects performed worst in events where the pedestrian crossed from the left, followed by events where the pedestrian crossed from the right. Significant interactions between HLG condition and other factors were also found: (1) the impact of oncoming HLG with the simulated cataract clip-on was larger than with the plano lens clip-on, (2) the impact of oncoming HLG was larger with the optically blurred clip-on than with the plano lens clip-on, but smaller than with the simulated cataract clip-on, and (3) the impact was larger for the pedestrians that crossed from the left than those that crossed from the right, and for the pedestrians walking along the left side of the road than walking along the right side of the road, suggesting that the pedestrian proximity to the glare source contributed to the performance reduction. Under HLGN, almost no pedestrians were missed with the plano lens or the simulated cataract clip-on (0 and 0.5%, respectively), but under HLGY, the rate of pedestrian misses increased to 0.5 and 6%, respectively. With the optically blurred clip-on, the percent of missed pedestrians under HLGN and HLGY did not change much (5% and 6%, respectively). Untimely response rate increased under HLGY with the plano lens and simulated cataract clip-ons, but the increase with the simulated cataract clip-on was significantly larger than with the plano lens clip-on. The contrast sensitivity with the simulated cataract clip-on was significantly degraded under HLGY. The visual acuity with the plano lens clip-on was significantly improved under HLGY, possibly due to pupil myosis. The impact of HLG measured for real cataract patients was similar to the impact on performance of normal vision subjects with simulated cataract clip-ons.Even with mild (simulated or real) cataracts, a substantial negative effect of oncoming HLG was measurable in the detection of crossing and walking-along pedestrians. The lowered pedestrian detection rates and longer response times with HLGY demonstrate a possible risk that oncoming HLG poses to patients driving with cataracts.
PURPOSE: Advances in surgical techniques allow implantation of intraocular lenses (IOL) with cataract extraction, even in young children. However, there are several challenges unique to the pediatric population that result in greater degrees of postoperative refractive error compared to adults. METHODS: Literature review of the techniques and outcomes of pediatric cataract surgery with IOL implantation. RESULTS: Pediatric cataract surgery is associated with several sources of postoperative refractive error. These include planned refractive error based on age or fellow eye status, loss of accommodation, and unexpected refractive errors due to inaccuracies in biometry technique, use of IOL power formulas based on adult normative values, and late refractive changes due to unpredictable eye growth. CONCLUSIONS: Several factors can preclude the achievement of optimal refractive status following pediatric cataract extraction with IOL implantation. There is a need for new technology to reduce postoperative refractive surprises and address refractive adjustment in a growing eye.
OBJECTIVES: To review the contribution of the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) to understanding the genetic and lifestyle factors that influence the risk of cataract, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. METHODS: We performed a narrative review of the publications of the NHS between 1976 and 2016. RESULTS: The NHS has helped to elucidate the roles of genetics, lifestyle factors (e.g., cigarette smoking associated with cataract extraction and age-related macular degeneration), medical conditions (e.g., diabetes associated with cataract extraction and glaucoma), and dietary factors (e.g., greater carotenoid intake and lower glycemic diet associated with lower risk of age-related macular degeneration) in the etiology of degree and progression of lens opacities, cataract extraction, age-related macular degeneration, primary open-angle glaucoma, and exfoliation glaucoma. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from the NHS, combined with those of other studies, have provided compelling evidence to support public health recommendations for helping to prevent age-related eye diseases: abstinence from cigarette smoking, maintenance of healthy weight and diabetes prevention, and a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
OBJECTIVE: Although cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the country, it is a microsurgical procedure that is difficult to learn and to teach. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a new method for introducing postgraduate year (PGY)-3 ophthalmology residents to cataract surgery.
SETTING: Hospital-based ophthalmology residency program.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
PARTICIPANTS: PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents of the Harvard Medical School Ophthalmology Residency from graduating years 2010 to 2012.
RESULTS: In July 2009, a new method of teaching PGY-3 ophthalmology residents cataract surgery was introduced, which was termed "the stepwise introduction to cataract surgery." This curriculum aimed to train residents to perform steps of cataract surgery by deliberately practicing each of the steps of surgery under a structured curriculum with faculty feedback. Assessment methods included surveys administered to the PGY-4 residents who graduated before the implementation of these measures (n = 7), the residents who participated in the first and second years of the new curriculum (n = 16), faculty who teach PGY-4 residents cataract surgery (n = 8), and review of resident Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education surgical logs. Resident survey response rate was 100%. Residents who participated in the new curriculum performed more of each step of cataract surgery in the operating room, spent more time practicing each step of cataract surgery on a cataract surgery simulator during the PGY-3 year, and performed more primary cataract surgeries during the PGY-3 year than those who did not. Faculty survey response rate was 63%. Faculty noted an increase in resident preparedness following implementation of the new curriculum. There was no statistical difference between the precurriculum and postcurriculum groups in the percentage turnover of cataracts for the first 2 cataract surgery rotations of the PGY-4 year of training.
CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of cataract surgery to PGY-3 residents in an organized, stepwise manner improved resident preparedness for the PGY-4 year of residency. This surgical teaching method can be easily applied to other surgical specialties.