Home E-Weekly October 1, 2013

Study Quantifies Cataract Surgery's Retina Risks

Published: September 30, 2013

Retinal detachment is a rare complication of cataract surgery, but it is 4 times more likely to occur in association with the procedure than to untreated eyes, according to a recently published Danish study.

Researchers from the Glostrup Hospital in Copenhagen reviewed the cases of 202,226 patients in a national patient database who had undergone phacoemulsification cataract surgery in 1 eye between 2000 and 2010, as well as the health of the eyes that were not operated on.

"By using the fellow eye as control in each patient, we have been able to study the isolated effect of the cataract operation on the risk of pseudophakic [retinal detachment]," says ophthalmologist and co-author Soren S. Bjerrum, MD. "The surgical procedure will, in broad terms, increase the risk of RD by a factor [of] 4, no matter the sex and age."

As reported in the study, published in a recent issue of the journal Ophthalmology, 575 of the 202,226 patients suffered detached retinas, 465 of them in the operative eye and 110 in the other eye. While the 110 patients were primarily younger and male, the 465 were gender- and age-diverse.

While retinal detachment is a known (and rare) complication of cataract surgery, the researchers write, until now they didn't know exactly how often it occurred.

David Bernard

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