Eye Journal Publishes Cataract Surgery Success

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 10, 2009
Contact: Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683
mary.muhlbradt@trinityhealth.org

Eye Journal Publishes Cataract Surgery Success

(MINOT, ND)—Trinity ophthalmologist Darrell P. Williams, M.D., says surgical technique and good quality assurance have enabled him to perform over 12,000 consecutive cataract surgeries without a postoperative infection. Now Ocular Surgery News, the most widely read journal on surgical eye care, has published Dr. Williams’ description of that achievement in the hope that other eye surgeons across the country might benefit from his experience.

“Bacterial infection is the most dreaded complication following cataract surgery,” Dr. Williams states. “The trend over time has been toward sutureless incisions, which have many advantages. But infection rates have actually increased nationwide in association with that trend, with some series as high as one out of 400 cases.”

Dr. Williams says in light of that concern he decided to research his own practice and found that he had performed over 12,000 cataract surgeries without a postoperative infection – a significant achievement. He attributes the low rate to a number of factors; one has to do with a technique generally not addressed in the literature.

“My technique has to do with pressurizing the eye at the end of surgery in order to confirm that the incisions are watertight,” Williams explains. “I believe it is important to briefly increase the fluid pressure in the eye and then finish most of these surgeries with that pressure at a higher than average range. This tightens the incisions and helps avoid the potential for any contaminated fluid from the tear film being pulled into the eye later.”

Williams noted that two of his associates, Dr. Evelyne Kindy and Dr. Chad Wolsky, also have performed infection-free cataract surgeries during their careers with Trinity Health. He says in addition to surgical skill, the achievement reflects a high level of quality assurance at Trinity’s surgery centers.

“The operating room staff, the sterile technique and handling of equipment and supplies are also important factors,” he says, adding, “This data is a tribute to excellence at every level of our surgical team. We have excellent quality assurance at all levels of our surgical eye program. It provides patients with an additional measure of safety for a successful outcome with cataract surgery.”

Dr, Williams says that since his letter appeared in the January 10th issue of Ocular Surgery News he has received calls from other ophthalmologists around the country interested in his technique.