June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Does Music Influence Surgical Time in Routine Cataract Surgery?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sajjad Abbas
    Ophthalmology, Luton & Dunstable Hospital, London, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Sajjad Abbas, None
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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 1814. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Sajjad Abbas; Does Music Influence Surgical Time in Routine Cataract Surgery?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1814.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To establish whether different popular genres of music can influence the time taken for an ophthalmological surgeon to complete a routine phacoemulsification cataract extraction and posterior capsule intraocular lens implantation surgery.


Over a four month study period, patients undergoing routine uncomplicated cataract surgery via phacoemulsification + PCIOL insertion were randomly assigned to undergo the procedure with a particular genre of music, “Classical”, “Rock”, “Upbeat Pop”, “Slow Jazz” or “No Music”, as a control, playing in the operating theatre with equivalent settings for volume and bass. The time taken for five experienced consultant ophthalmological surgeons to complete the procedure from corneal incision to completion was timed with a stopwatch. The operating room, theatre staff and equipment were kept the same for the purposes of the study. The mean time taken for each surgeon to complete the procedure was compared between each different genre of music and the control group using the paired student’s t test.


A total of 210 procedures performed by five different consultant surgeons, each performing between 39-52 operations, were timed. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean time taken for a surgeon to complete the procedure across all four genres of music and when compared to the “no music” control group. The mean times in mm:ss for each category are outlined in table 1.1. Using the student’s paired t test to compare the mean times between the different genres of music and the control group, no statistically significant differences were demonstrated at a p value of 0.05.


The playing of Rock, Upbeat Pop, Classical or Slow Jazz does not influence surgical time for a routine cataract extraction surgery performed by an experienced ophthalmic surgeon. This study did not look at other genres of music, surgeon’s musical preference and the effects of varying levels of volume on surgical time and could be an avenue for further research.

Keywords: 445 cataract  

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