Stocks are high for Same-day bilateral cataract surgery during this COVID- 19 pandemic.
The benefits for immediately sequential bilateral cataract surgery (ISBCS) for patients especially elder ones (the ones more prone to get affected in this pandemic) highly outweighs the risk factors/concerns of bilateral postoperative endophthalmitis and second eye refractive planning involved in ISBCS. Studies support ISBCS with a minimal endophthalmitis rate of less than 0.006%, with proper aseptic precautions and with modern day biometers and newer formulas the problem of intraocular lens power calculation can be precisely taken care of.
Operating on both eyes in a single day is a win- win situation for both, patients and surgeons. For patients, it drastically reduces the risk of exposure to COVID, recovery with excellent visual function in one day, lowers the risks associated with ocular anesthesia and also takes care of reduced systemic risks on a single day, time saving for attendants of patients and less work offs during these tough times whereas the surgeons benefit by decreasing the hassle of appointments to patients, minimizing non essential exposure, saving on the cost of personal protective gears and sanitization products – several studies supporting it with results as high as 30% cost benefits and benefits of not losing out on patients after one eye surgery sounds attractive with ISBCS.
Looking at both sides of the coin, it seems like concept of “same- day bilateral surgery” is here to stay during and even after the pandemic.