The most recent study of ophthalmic surgery morbidity and mortality was published in 1995, with a patient study population from 1977 to 1988. The present study reports surgical outcomes from a single-center, retrospective analysis of patient records from 1999 to 2015.
Three International Classification of Diseases–9-CM codes for cardiorespiratory events were searched in the discharge diagnoses in an eye hospital over a 16-year period. The overall mortality and preoperative risk factors were analyzed, including the type of anesthetic, type of surgery, medical comorbidities, and bradycardia preceding the cardiac events.
Between February 1, 1999 and October 1, 2015, a total of 130 775 patients presented for ophthalmic surgery. Fifty-nine patients (0.45 per 1000) experienced a cardiorespiratory event. Of the 59 patients, 14 patients had a cardiorespiratory arrest, 9 of whom died during the perioperative period. Of the remaining 45 patients, 29 had significant adverse events needing some form of advanced monitoring, evaluation, and/or intervention. There was a significantly greater prevalence of diabetes among patients who had a cardiorespiratory event ( P < .001).
The major risk factor associated with ophthalmic surgery morbidity and mortality was diabetes with its associated complications of autonomic neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy. Of the 9 patients who died, 8 were diabetic with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and renal insufficiency/failure. The ninth mortality was secondary to a venous air embolism during ocular air infusion. The adage that “the eye is the window to our overall health” seems to be correct.