Cataract Surgery Outcomes in New South Wales, Australia
Aim: To prospectively assess the visual acuity outcomes of phacoemulsification surgery in 2 tertiary referral hospitals over an 8-year period, and to compare the outcomes achieved by ophthalmology consultants and registrars in routine clinical practice to assess the appropriateness of patient allocation.
Methods: This prospective/retrospective case series of phacoemulsification surgery recruited patients from 1 July 2000 to 30 Dec 2008. Patients underwent detailed ophthalmic examination before and after surgery.
Phacoemulsification and insertion of intraocular lens was performed by consultants and senior and junior registrars, who were allocated by the treating consultant. Postoperative review was conducted 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after surgery.
Results: Of the 1812 cases, 1596 (88.1%) were complication free. The mean postoperative visual acuity was 0.17 LogMAR (6/9 Snellen equivalent), with 1630 cases (90.0%) achieving 0.30 LogMAR (6/12) or better. Consultants, and senior and junior registrars all achieved similar postoperative visual acuities of 0.15 to 0.17 LogMAR (p = 0.5). There was a significantly different rate of vitreous loss between the 3 groups (p = 0.002), with consultants at 2.9% (9/309), senior registrars at 1.9% (15/804) and junior registrars at 5.3% (37/699).
Conclusions: The visual acuity outcomes and complication rates confirm that quality care is being delivered to patients. The different complication rates between consultants and registrars reflect consultants allocating themselves more complicated cases and the training of junior registrars. The similar postoperative visual acuities achieved showed that allocation of patients among consultants and registrars was appropriate and good visual acuity outcomes were delivered to all patients.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work twelve (12) months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).