Surgical outcomes in phacoemulsification after application of a risk stratification system

Tsinopoulos, Ioannis T.; Lamprogiannis, Lampros P.; Tsaousis, Konstantinos T.; Mataftsi, Asimina; Symeonidis, Chrysanthos; Chalvatzis, Nikolaos T.; Dimitrakos, Stavros A.
May 2013
Clinical Ophthalmology;May2013, Vol. 7, p895
Academic Journal
Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether application of a risk stratification system during preoperative assessment of cataract patients and subsequent allocation of patients to surgeons with matching experience may reduce intraoperative complications. Methods: Nine hundred and fifty-three consecutive patients (1109 eyes) undergoing phacoemulsification cataract surgery were assigned to two groups, ie, group A (n = 498 patients, 578 eyes) and group B (n = 455 patients, 531 eyes). Patients from group A were allocated to surgeons with varying experience with only a rough estimate of the complexity of their surgery. Patients from group B were assigned to three risk groups (no added risk, low risk, and moderate-high risk) according to risk factors established during their preoperative assessment and were respectively allocated to resident surgeons, low-volume surgeons, or high-volume surgeons. Data were collected and entered into a computerized database. The intraoperative complication rate was calculated for each group. Results: The intraoperative complication rate was significantly lower in group B than in group A (group A, 5.88%; group B, 3.2%; P < 0.05). Patients from group B with no added risk and allocated to resident surgeons had a significantly lower rate of intraoperative complications than those from group A allocated to resident surgeons (group A, 7.2%; group B, 3.08%; P < 0.05). Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that allocation of cataract patients to surgeons matched for experience according to a uniform and reliable preoperative assessment of their risk of complications allows for better surgical outcomes, especially for resident surgeons.


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