Postoperative visual loss explored in studies

October 16, 2008

Reports of loss of vision post-non-ocular surgery are relatively uncommon but have been increasing over the past 15 years.

Urbana, IL-Reports of loss of vision post-non-ocular surgery are relatively uncommon but have been increasing over the past 15 years.

A new article, written by Molly E. Gilbert, MD, from the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, in Informa’s Journal Neuro-Ophthalmology, provides a review of the studies, findings, and current literature on the subject, as well as recommendations for surgical teams in preventing the complication.

The report details two large, retrospective studies, which show that postoperative visual loss (POVL) can be as high as 4.5% in cardiac surgery and 0.2% in spine surgery.

"Determining the actual overall incidence of POVL is difficult since it is not known what percentage of cases is reported," explained Dr. Gilbert. "A wide variety of surgical interventions have been associated with POVL, including cardiopulmonary bypass, lumbar spine surgery, neck dissection, abdominal procedures, hip surgery, cholecystectomy, parathyroidectomy, prostate surgery, pleurodesis, and rotator cuff surgery."

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