Incidence of Management Changes at the Postoperative Week 1 Visit after Cataract Surgery: Results from the Perioperative Care for IntraOcular Lens Study. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;199:94-100.Abstract.
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.