Objective: To investigate the possibility that fasting is not required before cataract surgery.
Study design: Retrospective review.
Participants: All patients who had cataract surgery alone (not combined with corneal or glaucoma surgery) at Mount St. Joseph Hospital between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008.
Methods: Three methods were used to determine whether any cases of aspiration pneumonia after cataract surgery had occurred: recall by the supervising anaesthetist, a search of hospital medical records for admissions with a diagnosis of pneumonia, and recall by the operating surgeons.
Results: In 5125 cases of cataract surgery, no case of aspiration pneumonia was found.
Conclusions: This study suggests that it is safe to perform cataract surgery under topical or infiltration anaesthesia with intravenous sedation without fasting prior to surgery.