Cataract Surgery:

Patient-Reported Data on Appropriateness and Outcomes

PEMD-93-14: Published: Apr 20, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1993.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO conducted a survey of Medicare patients who had undergone cataract surgery, focusing on: (1) the extent of eye symptoms and visual limitations before and after surgery; and (2) patients' experiences with cataract surgery.

GAO found that: (1) three quarters of the Medicare patients reported one or more visual impairments affecting their ability to drive, read, or watch television prior to cataract surgery; (2) the survey results showed different amounts of questionable surgery based on different criteria for appropriateness; (3) surgery may have been questionable for some patients depending on functional limitations and the risks of surgery; (4) data from the four states surveyed did not allow generalizations regarding the likely levels of questionable cataract surgery; (5) survey responses indicated that a high proportion of patients benefitted from surgery; and (6) most of the patients reported that one or more symptoms improved after surgery with no more than slight interim effects such as numbness or swelling.

Mar 19, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Feb 20, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 5, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 23, 2018

Jan 17, 2018

Jan 16, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here