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Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2000 Dec;28(6):419-22.

Warfarin therapy and cataract surgery.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand. morrieminor@hotmail.com



Cataract extraction in the warfarinized patient poses special considerations. Warfarin will increase the haemorrhagic risk but, more importantly, cessation or reduction in anticoagulation may well lead to serious thromboembolic phenomena. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact that warfarinization has on cataract extraction.


One thousand consecutive cataract extractions performed at Christchurch Hospital between 1996 and 1998 were reviewed. Twenty-eight patients (29 eyes) were on warfarin. Reasons for anticoagulation, modification to treatment regimen and postoperative outcome measures were available for 23 eyes or 79% of the study population.


The preoperative international normalized ratio (INR) ranged from 1.00 to 2.40+/-0.37 with a mean of 1.52. No thromboembolic phenomena occurred and four minor perioperative haemorrhages were noted, none of which affected the final visual outcome.


If warfarin is required to counteract serious thromboembolic tendencies, then it should not be ceased perioperatively. The small numbers of perioperative haemorrhages that did occur were not visually significant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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