The Royal College of Ophthalmologists' National Ophthalmology Database study of cataract surgery: report 1, visual outcomes and complications

Eye (Lond). 2015 Apr;29(4):552-60. doi: 10.1038/eye.2015.3. Epub 2015 Feb 13.


Aims: To describe the outcomes of cataract surgery in the United Kingdom.

Methods: Anonymised data on 180 114 eyes from 127 685 patients undergoing cataract surgery between August 2006 and November 2010 were collected prospectively from 28 sites. Outcome measures included intraoperative and postoperative complication rates, and preoperative and postoperative visual acuities.

Results: Median age at first eye surgery was 77.1 years, 36.9% cases had ocular co-pathology and 41.0% patients underwent cataract surgery on both eyes. Preoperative visual acuity was 0.30 logMAR or better in 32.0% first eyes and 47.7% second eyes. Postoperative best-measured visual acuity was 0.00 and 0.30 logMAR or better in 50.8 and 94.6% eyes without ocular co-pathology, and 32.5 and 79.9% in eyes with co-pathology. For eyes without co-pathology, postoperative uncorrected distance visual acuity was 0.00 and 0.30 logMAR or better in 27.3 and 80.9% eyes. Posterior capsule rupture or vitreous loss or both occurred in 1.95% cases, and was associated with a 42 times higher risk of retinal detachment surgery within 3 months and an eight times higher risk of endophthalmitis.

Conclusion: These results provide updated data for the benchmarking of cataract surgery. Visual outcomes, and the rate of posterior capsule rupture or vitreous loss or both appear stable over the past decade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Cataract Extraction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Posterior Capsular Rupture, Ocular / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • United Kingdom
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitreous Detachment / etiology