Katherine Talcott, MD: Visual Outcomes After Cataract Extraction with IOL Implantation

So, I think it’s a little confusing for
sort of us as retina specialists to sort of figure out when to refer people for cataract surgery versus not if they have something like diabetic retinopathy because it’s hard to sometimes tell if
the cataract is affecting their vision or if it’s the retina that’s affecting
their vision. So, we wanted to sort of better tease out among different severities of diabetic retinopathy sort of how much visual acuity you could potentially
get after having cataract surgery. We look sort of retrospectively at those
patients to be able to tease that out and we basically found that when you
sort of stratify patients by their diabetic retinopathy the patients who
had more severe retinopathy had more visual acuity gain than those who had
less severe, but if you looked at sort of what final vision they end up with they
still end up with not as good final vision as the patients who have less
severe retinopathy. So, I think that means that we’re probably referring those
patients less to have cataract surgery then you would someone who doesn’t
have as much retinopathy or those patients are sort of presenting to us
later when they have sort of more extensive
disease both in terms of retinopathy and in terms of cataract. I think a lot
of retina specialist are probably less likely to refer those
patients. Those patients still get a lot of benefit from cataract surgery, but we
need to sort of temper patient expectations as to what visual acuity
they might end up with after cataract surgery.

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