Refractive Surgery/Vision Correction

In-Person vs Remote Patient-Surgeon Discussion After Refractive Surgery

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Most patients who had refractive surgery preferred a remote discussion with their surgeon postoperatively, according to a retrospective study involving nearly 5,000 individuals. Additionally, satisfaction with the preoperative informed consent process was high. The findings were presented by David Teenan, MD, medical director at Optical Express UK, during the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s 2018 annual meeting in Washington, DC. 

Participants were examined by and had a discussion with a refractive optometrist, and watched a video consent prior to either laser vision correction (LVC) or refractive lens exchange (RLE). They were then given the choice of an in-person or remote discussion with the surgeon postoperatively. Patients were examined 1 day and 1 month postoperatively, and completed a patient experience questionnaire. Investigators looked at clinical outcomes and questionnaire answers. Among the results: 

  • 82% of LVC patients chose remote discussion, vs 57% of those in the RLE contingent. 
  • Older patients and those with higher refractive errors tended to opt for in-person discussion. 
  • Nearly all the patients in both groups said they were satisfied with the consent process. 
  • Patients who thought they were not consented properly usually experienced poor outcomes, were dissatisfied with vision, or experienced significant visual phenomena/dry eye.

Teenan D. Consent process in refractive surgery: Comparison of in person versus telemedicine approach. Talk presented at: 2018 ASCRS-ASOA Annual Meeting; April 13-17, 2018; Washington, DC.  

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