To investigate the prevalence of preoperative cataract surgery testing and consultation at a single United States teaching hospital.
Academic-affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Retrospective chart review.
This study included patients who received cataract surgery from 2014 to 2018. For patients with bilateral cataracts, the second surgery was excluded to ensure independent selection. Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores and heart disease status were recorded. The outcomes of interest were preoperative testing, such as complete blood count, chemistry panel, and echocardiography, and consultation (office visits to non-ophthalmologists) during the period between the date the decision was made to proceed with surgery and the cataract surgery date.
For this study 1320 charts were reviewed; 1257 (95.2%) patients met the study criteria. The mean CCI score was 1.7; 42.0% (528/1257) had heart disease. The prevalence of preoperative testing was 0.08% (1/1257). The prevalence of preoperative consultation was 4.2% (53/1257); 86.8% (46/53) of patients received cardiology consultation; 17.0% (9/53) pulmonology; and 15.1% (8/53) primary care. Of the patients who received cardiac consultation, 63.0% (29/46) had heart disease; the remaining had an electrocardiogram abnormality.
There was a low prevalence of preoperative testing and consultation for cataract surgery at this teaching hospital. Further studies using medical record data are needed to assess the current rates and the role of preoperative testing and consultation for cataract surgery patients.