What your patient might ask you…

Do I really need to come for my 1-day post-op visit after cataract surgery?

A new study says if the cataract surgery was uneventful, maybe not. The authors reviewed over 45 articles (which included thousands of patients) on PubMed to investigate the most common complications after cataract surgery.

What are the most common?
Corneal edema, postoperative uveitis, IOP elevation, cystoid macular edema, and posterior capsule opacification.

How often do these complications happen?
According to the study, not that often particularly in patients that have an uncomplicated surgery and ocular history.

If we don’t see the patient at the 1-day follow-up, what should we do instead?
With the exception of patients that have a relevant ocular history (chronic uveitis, glaucoma etc), the authors state that alternatives to the 1-day follow-up could include “a nurse-administered telephone questionnaire, shared care with non-ophthalmologists, and seeing the patients at a low threshold in cases of complaints.”

What’s the harm in keeping the one day follow-up visit?
Given the increase in healthcare costs, reducing a follow-up visit could impact the overall cost to the system without risk to the patient. The research team states that even in cases where the post-op care is bundled with the surgical fee, staffing is expensive and could be used to deal with other health care problems. (via)

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