Projecting the Growth of Cataract Surgery During the Next 25 Years | Cataract and Other Lens Disorders | JAMA Ophthalmology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
Nov 2012

Projecting the Growth of Cataract Surgery During the Next 25 Years

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Ophthalmology (Dr Hatch), Medicine (Dr Bell), and Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (Dr Bell), University of Toronto, Toronto, Department of Ophthalmology, Queen's University and Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston (Drs E. de L. Campbell, El-Defrawy, and R. J. Campbell), and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Kingston and Toronto (Drs Bell and R. J. Campbell), Ontario, Canada.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(11):1479-1481. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.838

Cataract surgery is the most frequent surgical procedure performed in many countries, providing significant improvements in quality of life to seniors at a low cost.1,2 While the aging population is expected to burden all areas of health care, ophthalmologists provide approximately 90% of their procedure-based services to seniors, making this specialty particularly vulnerable.3 Further, among surgical specialties, ophthalmology will experience the greatest growth in demand for services in coming years.3,4 As a result, projecting future cataract surgery needs is vital for health human resource, hospital, and surgical center management and planning. However, in many jurisdictions including the United States, predicting the number of operations needed to meet population demand is difficult because of a lack of population-based surgery data and because unmet demand—as reflected by growing wait times—is generally unknown.