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High-Volume Cataract Surgery Linked to Better Outcome

Researchers find that high-volume physicians have lower rates of postoperative complications

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- While adverse events after cataract surgery are relatively rare, a new study suggests that patients treated by physicians who perform a high volume of cataract surgeries have even fewer postoperative complications than those treated by physicians with a lower volume of such surgeries. The findings are published in the March issue of Ophthalmology.

Chaim M. Bell, M.D., of the University of Toronto in Canada, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 284,797 cataract surgeries performed between 2001 and 2003 at 70 hospitals or eye surgery centers in Ontario, Canada.

Overall, the researchers found that fewer than one in 200 patients experienced an adverse event. Compared with surgeons who perform 50 to 250 operations per year, the researchers found that surgeons who perform 251 to 500 operations per year and surgeons who perform more than 1,000 operations per year had significantly lower odds of postoperative adverse events (adjusted odds ratios, 0.52 and 0.14, respectively).

"What are the implications of this study?" ask the authors of an accompanying editorial. "It is a significant one, demonstrating a relationship between volume and postoperative complications in a representative population. It thus creates the need for additional study to assess the impact of such differences on patient-centered outcomes such as vision and visual functioning."

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