Purpose: To report the incidence of postoperative endophthalmitis at a high-volume eye hospital in southern India using a modified cost-effective sterilization protocol.
Setting: Aravind Eye Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Pondicherry, India.
Methods: In this retrospective observational series at a single eye hospital, records of patients who had cataract surgery using a modified sterilization protocol from January 2007 through August 2008 and developed postoperative endophthalmitis within the first 3 postoperative months were drawn from a computerized database. The patient's socioeconomic status, the surgeon's experience, and the type of cataract procedure performed were analyzed as possible risk factors using the chi-square test/Fischer exact test.
Results: During the study period, 42426 cataract surgeries were performed. From these, 38 cases of presumed postoperative endophthalmitis were identified (incidence 0.09%). Thirty-five of the 38 cases were in the manual large- and small-incision extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) group, which had a statistically higher rate than the phacoemulsification group (P = .016). There was no statistical difference in the endophthalmitis rates between private patients and charity patients for either surgical method (manual ECCE or phacoemulsification).
Conclusions: The modified sterilization and asepsis protocol adopted to facilitate high-volume cataract surgery in a clinical setting appeared to be safe and effective in preventing postsurgical endophthalmitis. Despite a 3:1 ratio of manual ECCE to phacoemulsification and the elimination of certain traditional sterilization practices, the rate of endophthalmitis in this generally underserved patient population with multiple risk factors for infection was comparable to that reported in other modern settings.