A new publication in the American Journal of Ophthalmology is bolstering the value of the post-cataract surgery check-up visit. Patients who stick to their follow up schedule and experience no deleterious symptoms rarely develop complications, according to the report.

Boston-based researchers looked through a year’s worth of Massachusetts Eye and Ear medical records. Of the 1,938 cases reviewed, 1,510 turned out for their one-week exam. Of those, only 11 records—less than 1%—identified cases where the patient was both asymptomatic at the one-week follow up visit and still developed unexpected changes. And, of those 11, eight had issues that were addressed using a steroid regimen. Another 238 cases (15.8%) were able to catch symptoms early. Symptoms reported included flashes, floaters, redness, pain and, in some cases, decreased vision.

The authors even speculate that the results may suggest the potential for changes to follow up exams altogether, saying “postoperative week one examinations could potentially be done on an ‘as needed’ basis in the appropriate subgroup of patients after cataract surgery.”

Borkar D, Lains I, Eton E, et al. Incidence of management changes at the postoperative week one visit after cataract surgery: results from the PCIOL Study. www.ajo.com/article/S0002-9394(18)30595-6/fulltext. [Epub ahead of print]. Accessed November 1, 2018.