Cataract Surgery:

Patient-Reported Data on Appropriateness and Outcomes

T-PEMD-93-3: Published: Apr 21, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1993.

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GAO discussed the results of its survey on cataract surgery. GAO noted that: (1) survey responses indicated that a high proportion of patients benefitted from surgery; (2) most patients reported that one or more symptoms improved after surgery with slight interim effects such as numbness or swelling; (3) patients reported one or more visual problems affecting their ability to drive, read, or watch television prior to cataract surgery; (4) medical necessity or inappropriateness has not been clearly defined; (5) survey results showed different amounts of questionable surgery based on different criteria for appropriateness; and (6) if the volume of inappropriate surgeries is reduced, financial savings could be realized and health services to individuals could improve.

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