Purpose: To report pragmatic outcomes from a database study of epiretinal membrane surgery.
Methods: Prospective anonymized clinical audit data from electronic medical records were pooled over 10 years into a national database, from 1,131 primary epiretinal membrane operations, by 69 surgeons, in 16 U.K. vitreoretinal units.
Results: The median age of 1,131 patients was 71.6 years. A pars plana vitrectomy and epiretinal membrane peel were combined with internal limiting membrane peel in 17.0% of operations, and cataract surgery in 49.9%. Use of general anesthesia declined from 94.1% in 2001 to 28.9% in 2010. One or more intraoperative complication occurred in 9.8% (8.1% excluding cataract surgery complications). The median preoperative logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) visual acuity improved from 0.60 to 0.30 (Snellen 20/80-20/40) after a median follow-up of 7.0 months; 41.7% of eyes improved ≥0.30 logMAR units (approximately 2 Snellen's lines). The percentages of eyes undergoing subsequent surgery were 3.3%, 1.0%, 0.4%, and 0.8% for epiretinal membrane, retinal detachment, macular hole, and other vitreoretinal indications, respectively. Excluding pseudophakic eyes, 51.7%, 73.2%, and 76.2% of eyes underwent cataract surgery within 1 year, 2 year, and 3 years respectively.
Conclusion: These results may help vitreoretinal surgeons to benchmark their surgical outcomes, and patients to assess the risks and benefits of surgery.