Intraoperative phacoemulsification complication rates of second- and third-year ophthalmology residents: A 5-year comparison

Alonzo S. Woodfield, Emily W. Gower, Sandra D. Cassard, Saraswathy Ramanthan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective To determine whether year of residency is associated with intraoperative phacoemulsification complication rates. Design Retrospective cohort study. Participants One attending physician supervised 691 resident-performed phacoemulsification procedures on 492 patients. Second- and third-year residents performed 228 and 463 cases, respectively. Methods All resident-performed phacoemulsification procedures performed between October 2003 and June 2008 and supervised by one attending surgeon (SR) were considered for this study. Data were collected on the residency year of the physician performing the surgery, preoperative risk indicators, and intraoperative complications, including anterior and posterior capsular tears with or without vitreous loss, zonular dialysis or dehiscence, burns, nuclear fragment loss, and Descemet's membrane tear. Cases were classified as difficult if they had 1 or more preoperative risk indicators including: pseudoexfoliation; proliferative diabetic retinopathy; prior vitrectomy; a 4+ dense, white, or brunescent cataract; current Flomax (Boehringer-Ingelheim, Ingelheim, Germany) use, pre-existing zonular dialysis; and intraoperative use of Trypan blue, iris hooks, or pupil dilator. Intraoperative complications are presented as rate per 100 surgeries (95% confidence intervals [CIs]). Main Outcome Measures Intraoperative complication rates and case difficulty. Results Fifty-three patients experienced at least 1 complication, with 25 cases experiencing multiple complications. Intraoperative complication rates were similar among second- and third-year resident groups (7.9% vs. 7.6%; P = 0.88). Similarly, vitreous loss rates among second- and third-year residents were comparable (4.8% vs. 3.0%; P = 0.27). Risk indicators were more common among third-year cases (24.6% vs. 15.8%; P = 0.008). Having 1 or more risk indicators increased the odds of an intraoperative complication (odds ratio [OR], 3.09; 95% CI, 1.735.49). After controlling for risk indicators, second-year resident surgeries still had a similar risk of intraoperative complications as third-year resident surgeries (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.62.19). Conclusions The year of residency did not significantly influence intraoperative complication rates, even after controlling for differences in case difficulty. Financial Disclosure(s) Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-958
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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