A prospective study on postoperative pain after cataract surgery
Susanna Porela-Tiihonen,1 Kai Kaarniranta,2 Merja Kokki,1 Sinikka Purhonen,1 Hannu Kokki1
1Department of Anesthesia and Operative Services, Kuopio University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Kuopio University Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Purpose: To evaluate postoperative pain and early recovery in cataract patients.
Patients and methods: A total of 201 patients who underwent elective first eye cataract extraction surgery were enrolled, and 196 were included in the final analysis. The study design was a single-center, prospective, follow-up study in a tertiary hospital in eastern Finland. Postoperative pain was evaluated with the Brief Pain Inventory at four time points: at baseline, and at 24 hours, 1 week, and 6 weeks postsurgery.
Results: Postoperative pain was relatively common during the first hours after surgery, as it was reported by 67 (34%) patients. After hospital discharge, the prevalence decreased; at 24 hours, 1 week, and 6 weeks, 18 (10%), 15 (9%) and 12 (7%) patients reported having ocular pain, respectively. Most patients with eye pain reported significant pain, with a score of ≥4 on a pain scale of 0–10, but few had taken analgesics for eye pain. Those who had used analgesics rated the analgesic efficacy of paracetamol and ibuprofen as good or excellent. Other ocular irritation symptoms were common after surgery; as a new postoperative symptom, foreign-body sensation was reported by 40 patients (22%), light sensitivity by 29 (16%), burning by 15 (8%), and itching by 15 (8%).
Conclusion: Moderate or severe postoperative pain was relatively common after cataract surgery. Thus, all patients undergoing cataract surgery should be provided appropriate counseling on pain and pain management after surgery.
Keywords: eye, cataract extraction, phacoemulsification, refractive surgical procedures, follow-up study, recovery, aged
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