Management of postoperative inflammation after cataract and complex ocular surgeries: a systematic review and Delphi survey

Br J Ophthalmol. 2017 Nov;101(11):1-10. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-310324. Epub 2017 Aug 3.


Prevention and management of postoperative ocular inflammation with corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been evaluated in several randomised controlled trials (RCTs). However, neither consensus regarding the efficacies of different regimens nor established guidelines are currently available. This has resulted in different practice patterns throughout the world. A systematic literature review found that for the management of postcataract inflammation nepafenac produced a positive outcome in three of three RCTs (3/3), as did ketorolac (1/1), bromfenac (7/7), loteprednol (3/3) and difluprednate (6/6), but not flurbiprofen (0/1). A single study found that betamethasone produced inconclusive results after retinal detachment (RD) surgery; ketorolac was effective (1/1) after vitrectomy, but triamcinolone was ineffective (0/1) after trabeculectomy. A two-round Delphi survey asked 28 international experts to rate both the inflammatory potential of different eye surgeries and their agreement with different treatment protocols. They rated trabeculectomy, RD surgery and combined phacovitrectomy as more inflammatory than cataract surgery. Vitrectomies for macular hole or epiretinal membrane were not deemed more inflammatory than cataract surgery. For trabeculectomy, they preferred to treat longer than for cataract surgery (NSAID + corticosteroid three times a day for 2 months vs 1 month). For vitrectomy alone, RD surgery and combined phacovitrectomy, the panel preferred the same treatment as for cataract surgery (NSAID + corticosteroid three times a day for 1 month). The discrepancy between preferred treatment and perception of the eye's inflammatory status by the experts for RD and combined vitreoretinal surgeries highlights the need for RCTs to establish treatment guidelines.

Keywords: Clinical Trial; Drugs; Glaucoma; Retina; Treatment Surgery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Disease Management*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glucocorticoids