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Invited Commentary
August 1, 2019

Challenging Considerations Regarding Waste and Potential Environmental Effects in Cataract Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(10):1163-1164. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.2936

Previous authors have posed questions about the economic and environmental effects of health care.1 In this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, Tauber et al2 continue to illuminate the economic and environmental costs of pharmaceutical waste associated with cataract surgery at 4 different settings in the northeastern United States, complementing work on the carbon footprint of cataract surgery.1 By using analytical concepts and techniques from environmental approaches (eg, the economic input-output life cycle assessment [EIO-LCA] method), the authors have enlarged our perspectives and our understanding of the true costs of our care by encompassing more of the societal externalities associated with our ophthalmic surgeries.

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