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A. G. Chun; Prolonged Duration of Visual Recovery With Increased Rate of Poor Visual Acuity in the Diabetic Population Compared With Non-Diabetics After Cataract Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5420.
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To determine if there is an increased length of recovery and increased incidence of poor visual outcome in diabetic patients despite having uncomplicated cataract surgery and uneventful post-operative course compared to non-diabetic controls.
Retrospective chart review of 577 consecutive cataract surgeries performed on 474 patients at Cooper University Hospital between January 3, 2003 and December 22, 2006. All cases were performed by resident surgeons supervised by one attending physician. Patients were divided into two groups, diabetic or non-diabetic. Final visualoutcome was determined as best corrected vision of at least 20/40 vision . Attempt was made to follow patients post-operative day 1, 1 week, 1 month and 3 months. All patients who developed CME during the postoperative period were excluded from the study.
A total of 577 cataract cases were performed. A total of 71 cases with intraoperative complications were reported and were thus not included as part of this study. In addition, development of post-operative CME was excluded. As a result, there were 165 uncomplicated cases involving diabetic patients and 238 cases in non-diabetic patients. Of the diabetic patients that achieved a best corrected visual acuity of at least 20/40 did so on average in 18.5 days with a median of 7 days . The non-diabetic group reached 20/40 on average of 16.7 days with a median of 7 days. 19 of 165 or 11% of diabetic patients never achieved a visual acuity of 20/40 or better, while only 7 of 238 or 3% of non-diabetics did not meet this goal.
By virtue of being diabetic, there is a small but significant increased in recovery time to reach an acceptable final visual acuity set at 20/40 best corrected vision. This is despite not developing CME during the post-operative period. Preexisting diabetic retinopathy may have played a role in final visual outcome. Counseling of diabetic patients on recovery time and realistic visual goals should be discussed in advance of cataract surgery.
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