Vitreous loss rates in extracapsular cataract surgery by residents

Ophthalmology. 1989 Aug;96(8):1225-7. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32747-3.


Vitreous loss is a serious complication of cataract surgery. It has been suggested that high rates of vitreous loss may be an inevitable consequence when residents are learning extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). The authors retrospectively analyzed all (n = 936) cataract operations done by second- and third-year residents in a single Veterans Administration hospital from 1982 through 1988. Between 1982 and 1985, the incidence of vitreous loss was 10.3%. In 1985, a new program of resident surgical education was introduced, and the incidence from 1985 through 1988 declined to 3.2% (P less than 0.001). Statistical analysis confirms that this decrease cannot be attributed to any individual surgeon, class of residents, or year of surgery. The authors believe that an educational program including practice surgery, graded responsibility, and experienced assistance may be responsible in part for dramatically reducing the rate of this serious complication during surgery done by the beginning resident.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Eye Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitreous Body*