Surgery to remove cataracts after vitrectomy

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Surgery to remove cataracts after vitrectomy

Do DV, Gichuhi S, Vedula SS, Hawkins BS

Review aim
The aim of this Cochrane Review was to evaluate the evidence regarding the effect of surgery to remove the lens from eyes in which cataracts (clouding of the lens in front of the eye) develop after vitrectomy. Vitrectomy surgery is used to remove the vitreous (the clear gel) in the center of the eye during repair or amelioration of a number of retinal disorders (such as retinal detachment and macular holes or in cases of vitreous hemorrhage).

What was studied in this review?
Vitrectomy can result in the formation or acceleration of cataract. The underlying problem that led to vitrectomy may affect visual acuity, quality of life, and other outcomes after the surgery to remove the cataractous lens.

Main results
We found no randomized controlled trials (trials in which participants had been randomly assigned to one treatment group or another) that evaluated the benefits or risks (or both) of cataract surgery following vitrectomy. Since cataract surgery may lead to loss of vision due to worsening or recurrence of the condition that prompted the vitrectomy, its role in these patients remains unknown. Future trials to address this review question should separate participants by age, the disorder leading to vitrectomy, and the status of the underlying disease process in the opposite eye. Outcomes relevant to patients such as improvement in visual acuity, other measures of vision, and quality of life usually expected from cataract surgery, and harms should be examined both in the short term (six months after cataract surgery) and in the long term (one to two years after cataract surgery).

Key messages
There is an evidence gap as to whether surgery to remove cataracts in people in whose eyes cataracts develop after vitrectomy is better than no surgery.

How up-to-date is the review?
We searched for studies published up to 17 May 2017.

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