What is Dropless Cataract Surgery?
3.6 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year. It is one of the most successful, celebrated and life-changing procedures performed on the human body. To reduce the chance of infection from natural bacterial skin flora, betadine preparation to the operative area in a sterile environment is a well-established protocol for virtually any operative procedure, including cataract surgery. After surgery, the use of antibiotic, steroid, and non-steroidal drops have been the standard of care for many years. Despite this prophylaxis, a very small percentage, about 1 in 500, develop sight threatening infections. If the condition is detected and treated early, most have a good visual outcome but in certain aggressive cases, vision can be partially or completely lost.
Patients must obtain several different medicated eye drops in the pharmacy and then apply each to the operative eye 4x/day for several weeks but there are significant barriers to compliance.
The cost of branded and generic eye drops has recently skyrocketed creating a huge financial burden to many patients without adequate insurance or with high deductibles. The patient typically is unaware of their financial responsibility until arriving at their pharmacy and presenting their insurance card. Many then find they cannot afford the cost.
This generates an increasingly large number of phone calls to our offices from both patients and pharmacists requesting cheaper, less effective substitutions. Others elect not to fill the prescriptions and don’t use any drops at all.
Additionally, many of our mature, physically challenged patients have great difficulty performing this daily ritual and some require the assistance of family, friends, or nursing home staff to comply with the eye drop regimen. For these reasons it is easy to see why studies show that no more than half are able to get all those drops into their eye as directed.
1/27/2015 TV 6 News Story: Dropless™ Cataract Surgery
A new alternative is available! At the end of the cataract procedure, a specially prepared antibiotic/steroid formulation is administered transzonularly by the surgeon directly into the anterior vitreous of the eye. If any bacteria are present in that area, they are eradicated. This eliminates the need for eyedrops after surgery for 95% of patients and the cost and aggravation associated with them. Even more important, the incidence of sight threatening infections after cataract surgery is reduced to negligible levels or about 1/20,000 cases. That means if every cataract patient in Columbus received this medication at the end of the cataract procedure we might expect to see only one case of sight-threatening infection in our community every two years!
Our patients who have had Dropless cataract surgery uniformly prefer it.
Since 2014, The Dropless™ formulation has been safely used in over 70,000 ocular (primarily cataract) surgeries.
For more information, contact us.