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Serious adverse events after cataract surgery

Stein, Joshua D.

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: May 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 219–225
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283524068

Purpose of review Over the past several decades, there have been many advances in the equipment, instrumentation and techniques of performing cataract surgery. This review will address the impact of these advances on the safety profile of cataract surgery.

Recent findings Recent studies have demonstrated a decline in the risk of serious postoperative adverse events (endophthalmitis, suprachoroidal hemorrhage, retinal detachment) following cataract surgery. Factors that increase the risk of serious complications from cataract surgery include patient-related factors (male sex, concomitant diabetic retinopathy, same day cataract surgery combined with another intraocular surgery, tamsulosin use) and surgeon-related factors (low surgical volume, limited experience, operating on patients who are most prone to adverse events).

Summary Cataract surgery continues to be a very well tolerated surgical procedure with few patients experiencing serious sight-threatening adverse events. Studies in the literature have helped surgeons identify patients who are at high risk for surgical complications and develop strategies to limit surgical complications when operating on these patients. As multifocal intraocular lenses, femtosecond laser technology, and other surgical innovations continue to gain popularity, it will be interesting in the coming years to determine whether there will be a continued reduction in complications of cataract surgery.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Correspondence to Joshua D. Stein MD, MS, University of Michigan, W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, 1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Tel: +1 734 763 7246; fax: +1 734 232 8181; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.