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April 11, 2011

Determining the Role for Antibiotics in the Prevention of Endophthalmitis After Cataract Surgery

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(4):501-502. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.50

When endophthalmitis occurs after cataract surgery, it often leads to severe loss of vision. Most efforts to prevent endophthalmitis are based on clinical experience and less-than-ideal clinical trials.1 Cataract extraction is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, and the number of these surgeries will continue to grow as the population ages. Nearly every patient undergoing cataract surgery in the United States receives topical antibiotics before and after surgery, yet infections still occur and there is some evidence that the incidence rates of endophthalmitis are rising.2,3 Although preventing complications and maximizing outcomes are priorities, we must also consider the financial aspects of antibiotic use. There is a compelling need to better understand the role played by antibiotics in the prevention of complications after cataract surgery.