Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cataract Surgery Complications & Age

Cataract Surgery today is a high technology procedure that is safe, effective and predictable when performed by an experienced Cataract Surgeon. Yet, one has to wonder whether as patients get older their risk of complications with Cataract Surgery tends to increase with age. It might seem somewhat intuitive that the Cataract Surgery complication rate should increase as patients increase in frailty, circulation is further compromised and healing might even be somewhat slower. Researchers from the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) reported at the Chicago 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology on the complication rate within 90 days of Cataract Surgery of a group of of 554 nonagenarians (age 90-99) and compared it the complication rate in a group of 11,407 octogenarians (age 80-89) who received Cataract Surgery in the VHA. The types of intraoperative and postoperative complications were identical between the two groups and the risk of having any intraoperative or postoperative complication was 13.5% for octogenarians and 13.4% for nonagenarians. The conclusion is that nonagenarians relative to octogenarians are not at increased risk of ocular complications from Cataract Surgery.

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