A study conducted in the United States has found that patients are open to immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery (ISBCS).
While increasing literature indicates the safety and effectiveness of ISBCS when appropriate protocols are used, sequential bilateral cataract surgery is not the standard of care for most patients in Australia.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologist’s (RANZCO) statement on Preferred Practice Patterns: Cataract and Intraocular Lens Surgery reads, “Having second eye surgery later allows for complete healing before fellow eye surgery, but anisometropia with reduction in binocular vision and falls risk, when taken into account, favours a shorter interval”.
The study in Clinical Ophthalmology, published results from a prospective, consecutive survey from a private practice serving a mostly rural population. Of 61 patients surveyed by phone before and after routine delayed sequential bilateral cataract surgery (DSBCS), 47 completed responses.
Thirty-nine (83.0%) had a favourable outlook of ISBCS preoperatively, and 36 (76.6%) had a favourable outlook of ISBCS postoperatively (p> 0.05). On the postoperative questionnaire, 25 (53.2%) were willing to accept additional surgical risk if necessary to receive ISBCS; a finding significant between the subgroup of patients with systemic health co-morbidities compared to those without (p=0.05). The risks associated with ISBCS include bilateral endophthalmitis. Potential benefits include time and cost savings for patients as well as a reduced cost burden for healthcare systems.
Rush SW, Omoruyi F, Rush RB. Patient Attitudes and Desirability Regarding Immediate Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery. Clin Ophthalmol. 2022;16:1375-1381 https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S363327