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A Comparative Assessment of Intraoperative Complication Rates in Resident-Performed Phacoemulsification Surgeries According to Najjar-Awwad Preoperative Risk Stratification

Authors Gharaee H, Jahani M, Banan S

Received 4 March 2020

Accepted for publication 4 May 2020

Published 18 May 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1329—1336


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Hamid Gharaee, Masoud Jahani, Saeed Banan

Eye Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Correspondence: Masoud Jahani
Tel +98 9111760280

Introduction: Phacoemulsification cataract surgery presents a challenge to resident surgeons with lower experience, which confronts with patient safety. In this study, we compared major intraoperative surgical complications of resident-performed phacoemulsification surgeries between cases with low intraoperative risk and random cases with unknown intraoperative risk.
Methods: This prospective randomized controlled study was done on patients who underwent phacoemulsification surgery by third- and fourth-year residents in Khatam-al-Anbia eye hospital, Mashhad, Iran. Preoperative risk was calculated using Najjar-Awwad risk score after slit lamp examination and the patients with scores 7 or higher were considered high-risk. Patients were randomly assigned into a study group, in which only low-risk cases were operated by third-year residents, or control group, in which third-year residents were able to operate any patient regardless of the risk score. In both groups, the remaining patients were operated by fourth-year residents. All intraoperative complications were recorded. Data were analyzed using SPSS, considering P< 0.05 significant.
Results: Overall, 475 patients with cataract in the study (N=232) and control (N=243) groups were operated. Mean overall Najjar-Awwad risk scores did not differ significantly between the groups, but pseudoexfoliation and poor pupil dilatation occurred significantly more frequently in the control group (P=0.010 and P=0.014, respectively). Overall, 36 surgeries in the study group (15.5%) and 47 surgeries in the control group (19.3%) were complicated (P=0.273). There was a significant difference between the third- and fourth-year residents regarding the inability to complete continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (P=0.033). The risk of overall and major complications in high-risk cases was significantly higher among those operated by 3rd-year residents compared with those operated by 4th-year residents (OR=3.45, 95% CI=1.2– 9.9, P=0.016 and OR=6.37, 95% CI=1.99– 20.34, P=0.001, respectively).
Conclusion: Although supervised resident-performed phacoemulsification has a relatively safe learning curve in our residency program, it is best to stratify preoperative risk and assign high-risk cases to senior residents with higher experience.

Keywords: phacoemulsification, preoperative risk, intraoperative complications, resident

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