Do you really need to give an NSAID after cataract surgery? Study says probably not.

study of almost 90,000 patients undergoing cataract surgery examined the effects of perioperative NSAIDs and steroids vs just steroids.

Their question….do NSAIDs really make a difference in preventing post-op macular edema?
The risk of post-op macular edema after cataract surgery is low to begin with and the risk of post-op macular edema after cataract surgery with the use of NSAIDs is even lower.
But how low?  Lets talk numbers.
The study found the number needed to treat (NNT) is 320.  That means that 320 people need to be treated with perioperative NSAIDs to prevent one case of post-op macular edema.

The authors state topical NSAIDs were associated with a modest reduction of post-op macular edema incidence in patients undergoing cataract surgery.  They add, the risk for macular edema is low and the number of patients benefiting from treatment is small.

Jaclyn Garlich
Dr. Garlich graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2010 and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the St. Louis VA. In 2013, she developed an optometry clinical reference mobile app available in the iTunes store. In 2016, she founded 20/20 Glance, a weekly optometry newsletter that gives a rundown on clinically relevant optometry news in an easy to digest format.

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