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Eye (Lond). 2013 May;27(5):644-51. doi: 10.1038/eye.2013.12. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

United Kingdom National Ophthalmology Database Study of Vitreoretinal Surgery: report 1; case mix, complications, and cataract.

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King's College London, Department of Opthalmology, King's College Hospital, London, UK.



To report the vitreoretinal (VR) surgical case mix in the United Kingdom, the intraoperative complication rate of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), and the incidence of post-vitrectomy cataract extraction.


Participating hospitals prospectively collected ophthalmic data using a single electronic medical record system, with automatic extraction of anonymised data to a national database. This study included the subset of 11618 VR operations undertaken on 9619 eyes, of 8741 patients, over 8 years, from 27 sites. Surgical data included the indication for surgery, all procedure elements, and whether or not an intraoperative complication occurred. Post-vitrectomy cataract data were also analysed. The main outcome measures were a description of the indications for surgery, intraoperative PPV complication rate, and percentage of eyes undergoing post-vitrectomy cataract surgery (PVCS).


The most common indications for VR intervention were retinal breaks and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (48.5%), macular hole (9.8%), epiretinal membrane (9.6%), and diabetic eye disease (7.3%). Overall, 7.8% of PPVs had at least one intraoperative complication-the most common were iatrogenic retinal breaks (3.2%), and lens touch (1.2-1.6% of phakic eyes). PVCS occurred in 50.2, 68.7, and 74.0% of eyes at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively.


VR surgery is undertaken for a wide range of conditions, but a small number of diagnoses encompass the majority of cases. Intraoperative PPV complications are not uncommon, and post-vitrectomy cataract is to be expected in most phakic eyes.

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