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Is it safe for patients with cancer to receive cataract surgery? Nationwide matched cohort study in Taiwan

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Infections & Syndromes

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 3

First Author: : c.hou TAIWAN

Co Author(s): :    J. Lee                       

Abstract Details


The surgical site infection rates are higher in cancer patients than in normal population for all traditional wound classification from class I to class IV. This raises the safety concern in the surgical treatment for cataract in cancer survivors. In the study, we investigated the endophthalmitis rate after cataract surgery in our nationwide cancer population in Taiwan and compared it to that of the matched non-cancer population.


1. Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou and Chang Gung University, Taiwan 2. Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taiwan


In 1995, Taiwan launched a compulsory single-payer National Health Insurance system, which covered 99.9% of the population as of 2014. We used a nationwide matched cohort study. The cancer cohort were patients who were newly diagnosed with cancer between 1997 and 2013 and received cataract surgery after cancer. The control group was from the three Longitudinal Health Insurance Databases (LHID2000, LHID2005, and LHID2010). For each cancer patient, one control was randomly selected with frequency matching for age, sex, date of cataract surgery (within the same month), and DM. We compared the incidence of endophthalmitis in these two cohorts.


There were 44,628 cancer patients who received cataract surgery after the cancer diagnosed. The mean age when the cancer was diagnosed was 67.84±9.00 years. The mean age when the cataract surgery was performed was 72.02±8.47 years. There were 251 (0.56%) cases of endophthalmitis in cancer patients and 231 (0.51%) cases in the matched cohort (p = 0.361). We categorized the cancer patients by different years when cataract surgeries were done after cancer diagnosis, and no statistically difference were noted in the incidence of endophthalmitis between cancer patients and the matched cohort.


Cancer patients are generally prone to develop surgical site infection after the surgery. In our study, we demonstrated that the cancer patients have the similar risk of endophthalmitis as non-cancer population after cataract surgery. We suggest that the cataract surgery can be considered as a regular procedure in cancer patients and it is reasonable to hold the surgery till the patients’ general condition is acceptable.

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