Open Access Research article

Cataract surgery by appointment – a pilot study

Ioannis Mavrikakis1, Tassos Georgiou1, Bobby Paul1 and Christopher SC Liu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, UK

2 Tongdean Eye Clinic, Brighton & Hove, UK

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BMC Ophthalmology 2006, 6:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-18

Published: 20 April 2006

Abstract

Background

"Cataract Surgery by Appointment" is a new method of delivery of cataract surgery that reduces the time a patient spends in hospital by their direct arrival at the operating theatre, having self-prepared for surgery, thus avoiding admission to the ward or time spent in the Day Case Unit. The patient can stay as little as 20 minutes from their arrival to going home. We describe the process in detail, and seek to evaluate the visual outcome, safety and patient satisfaction of same.

Methods

Visual outcome and safety data were obtained from patients' medical records, prospectively. Patients were also surveyed by a questionnaire to determine their satisfaction with the service and viability as a prospect for providing a more efficient cataract surgery service.

Results

In 2002, fifty-one eyes of 39 consecutive patients underwent "Cataract Surgery by Appointment". There were 16 male and 23 female. The pre-operative best-corrected visual acuity was 6/9 or better in 17 (33%) eyes. The post-operative best-corrected visual acuity was 6/9 or better in 44 (86%) eyes. There were no per-operative complications. Post-operative complications occurred in 3 (6%) eyes. The average number of days from surgery to final discharge was 14.5 days.

Twenty-eight (72%) completed questionnaires were returned. The results show that the majority of patients were satisfied with their overall experience of this mode of delivery for cataract surgery.

Conclusion

"Cataract Surgery by Appointment" performed under local anaesthesia by a skilled ophthalmic surgeon appears to be safe and effective for highly selected cases. This method of delivery gave a high level of patient satisfaction, and is the ultimate form of day case cataract surgery. The method may gain widespread use should per-operative intracameral pupil dilatation prove to be effective and acceptable. Attention should be paid to risk-stratification, so complex cases are allocated more time on the operating list.