Purpose: To estimate the long-term cumulative risk of retinal detachment (RD) after cataract extraction.
Methods: Using the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, we retrospectively identified all residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, who had cataract extraction from 1980 through 2004 (10,256 cataract extractions in 7,137 residents) and were diagnosed with RD. The observed probability of RD after cataract extraction was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. A cumulative probability ratio of RD after cataract extraction was determined by comparing the observed probability of RD with the expected probability of RD in residents without cataract extraction. Two controls chosen from the primary cataract surgery cohort were matched to each RD case by age, sex, and duration of follow-up. Logistic regression models assessed differences between cases and controls.
Results: Eighty-two cases of RD after cataract extraction were identified. The cumulative probability of RD after extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) and phacoemulsification was 0.27%, 0.71%, 1.23%, 1.58%, and 1.79% at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years after surgery. There was no significant difference in the probability of RD after ECCE when compared to phacoemulsification (P =.13). The cumulative probability ratio of RD at 20 years after ECCE and phacoemulsification was four times (95% CI, 2.6-5.4) higher than would be expected in a similar group of residents not undergoing cataract extraction (P <.001). Males, younger age, myopia, and increased axial length were significantly associated with RD (P <.001).
Conclusions: The cumulative risk of RD after ECCE and phacoemulsification is increased for up to 20 years after surgery.