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Lyndon D. Tyler, Susan M. Pepin; Variation in Post-operative Instructions Following Uncomplicated Phacoemulsification and Lens Implant Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):6231.
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Examine variability in post-op restrictions following phacoemulsification cataract surgery among surgeons in the USA
Between May and September 2010, US ophthalmologists were invited to voluntarily and anonymously complete a short online questionnaire. 52 physicians responded and all responses were included. The questionnaire asked how long after surgery a patient should refrain from the following activities:• Light clerical work• Heavy manual work• Straining and heavy lifting• DrivingRespondents were also asked to select the basis of their post-operative advice (e.g., evidence, personal experience, unit policy, other), and they could select more than one response.Variability was classified as high (≤ 60% concordance among responses), moderate (60-90%), or low (> 90%)
Low variability responses• noneModerate variability responses• Return to light clerical work - 68% of respondents gave no restrictions, 26% advised less than 3 days restrictionHigh variability responses• Return to heavy manual work - 52% of respondents advised less than 1 week• Return to straining and heavy lifting - 57% of respondents advised less than 1 week• Return to driving - 45% of respondents gave no restrictions, 43% advised less than 1-week restriction.86% of respondents indicated that their post-operative advice is based on personal experience, whereas only 24% of respondents indicated that their advice is based on evidence. Comments ranged from "based on training" to "no good reason - I know of little evidence for post op care standards".
Phacoemulsification is a popular method for removing cataracts in the USA. However, the restrictions placed on post-operative patient activity are highly variable, and usually not evidence-based. Further research is needed to develop evidence-based guidelines to direct post-operative advice following cataract surgery.
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