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December 24, 1904

IS BILATERAL OPERATION FOR CATARACT EVER JUSTIFIABLE?AND IF NOT, HOW SOON AFTER THE OPERATION ON THE FIRST EYE IS IT SAFE TO EXTRACT THE SECOND CATARACT?

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(26):1969-1971. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500260002k
Abstract

An exhaustive review of text-books, medical journals, special periodicals and pamphlets revealed a total lack of literature bearing on this subject, and a letter of inquiry, sent to forty-one competent and experienced oculists in different sections of the country, showed the greatest diversity of opinion; about an equal number being on each side of the question.

This paper, therefore, is largely based on a personal and clinical experience of more that fifteen hundred cataract operations.

I can conceive of no circumstances that would justify me in making bilateral extraction of cataract. There are so many sources of infection and so many opportunities for it, that we can never be sure that an eye will not be infected during or after an operation, however careful we may have been in our work, or however perfect the patient's local, mental or physical condition may have been. The difficulty of

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