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Br J Ophthalmol. 1999 Dec;83(12):1336-40.

National cataract surgery survey 1997-8: a report of the results of the clinical outcomes.

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  • 1Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD.



A national survey of over 100 hospitals in the UK was carried out to collect routine clinical information on the outcomes of cataract surgery. The clinical outcomes of interest were: visual acuity at time of discharge from postoperative hospital follow up, visual acuity at time of final refraction; complications related to surgery occurring during the operation, within 48 hours of surgery, and within 3 months of surgery. In addition, information on age and comorbidity was obtained. This article reports on the findings of the experience of approximately 18 000 patients who had cataract surgery in the hospital eye service of the NHS.


Of those with no ocular comorbidity, 85% achieved a visual acuity of 6/12 or better on discharge from postoperative hospital follow up, while 65% of patients with a serious co-existing eye disease achieved this level of acuity at this time. At final refraction, 92% of patients without ocular comorbidity and 77% of patients with ocular comorbidity achieved 6/12 or better visual acuity. The following main risk indicators were associated with visual outcomes and complications related to surgery: age, other eye diseases, diabetes and stroke, type of surgical procedure, and grade of surgeon.


The acceptability of these findings could fruitfully be the subject of discussion within the ophthalmic community and hopefully issues arising out of the study can lead to research, especially in-depth studies of the outcomes of cataract surgery in those patients with co-existing serious eye conditions.

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