Routine examination after cataract surgery, including a refraction test 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, is mandatory in most hospitals. In recent years, there has been growing interest in exploring alternative approaches to postoperative follow-up in cataract surgery patients due to the increasing number of cataract surgeries being performed, the limited availability of health care resources, and the need to optimize the use of health care services.
We aim to compare postoperative visual outcomes after a day 0 examination in patients with 2 follow‑ups, one on day 7 and other on day 30, and patients with a single ophthalmic follow‑up between days 25 to 30.
A prospective, quantitative, experimental control study will be carried out in Reiyukai Eiko Masunaga Eye Hospital, located in Banepa, Kavrepalanchok, Nepal. All patients undergoing cataract surgery meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria irrespective of the type of surgery (small-incision cataract surgery or phacoemulsification) will be included in the study. The patients will be randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Patients in group 1 will be examined on day 1, day 7, and day 30, whereas patients in group 2 will be examined on day 1 and once between days 25 to 30. The minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in our study will be set according to the improvement in the Snellen visual acuity chart.
The study is expected to be completed within 6 to 8 months from the start of the project. Data analysis and report writing will be carried out in a 2-month period. Best-corrected visual acuity will be compared between the 2 groups to determine if the MCID is achieved. The cost-effectiveness of the new approach will also be analyzed.
We aim to conclude that we can safely defer the 1-week postoperative follow-up visit in patients undergoing uncomplicated cataract surgery and that, moreover, we can reduce the patient load at the hospital and decrease patient expenses by decreasing the frequency of hospital visits.