Cataract surgery remains the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the UK with almost half a million operations a year, results from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ latest National Ophthalmology Database Audit show.
One highlight of this, the sixth NOD prospective annual cataract audit report, is the finding of a further reduction in the unadjusted posterior capsule rupture rate to 0.87%, less than half that of ten years ago. Posterior capsule rupture rate is a key quality metric because it is the most important modifiable risk factor for visual loss.
Mr Mike Burdon, Chair - RCOphth National Ophthalmology Database Audit Steering Group said, “The report provides important data on the risks of cataract surgery that should be taken in to account when consenting patients. Many clinicians quote a risk of 1:1000 of loss of vision as a result of cataract surgery. The NOD data shows that risk of catastrophic visual loss is actually 1:500.
Dr John Buchan, Clinical Lead - RCOphth National Ophthalmology Database Cataract Audit, said, “Cataract surgery is quality assured by the RCOphth National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Cataract Audit team. Receiving data on over 70% of all cataract operations performed, the NOD was pleased to report a continuation of the year-on-year reduction in complication rates.
“In the most recent NHS audit year covering operations performed between 01 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, fewer than one in a hundred patients experienced the major surgical complication of posterior capsule rupture, and fewer than one in two hundred patients ended up with vision that was markedly worse than before the operation. Outcomes for surgeons and centres are available on the NOD Audit website.
Overall, the audit findings are favourable indicating that NHS patients are receiving high quality cataract surgery.
The report makes a series of recommendations for patients, commissioners, regulators and contributing surgeons/trusts and providers. A further audit is planned for 2023, when it is hoped that more centres will take part.
View the audit report: NOD Cataract Audit Full Annual Report 2023
View the Key Findings Summary: NOD Cataract Audit Key Findings 2023