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Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

New SHTAC publication on the effectiveness of cataract surgery in the second eye

Published: 15 December 2014

A new report on the clinical and cost effectiveness of second-eye cataract surgery has been published in Health Technology Assessment.

For patients who have cataracts in both eyes, surgery to replace the lens in the worst-affected eye is a cost-effective way to improve vision and may also improve quality of life. This project included a systematic review and economic analysis to investigate whether replacing the lens in the second eye provides enough further benefit to be considered worthwhile by patients and cost-effective for the NHS. The evidence base was found to be limited, with only three relevant randomised trials identified. The trials were conducted more than 10 years ago and their participants already had good vision after the first cataract operation, which may not be fully reflective of patients currently awaiting cataract surgery in the NHS. Based on the best available evidence, economic analyses tested with a range of scenarios and assumptions show that second-eye cataract surgery would likely be considered cost-effective in the NHS. More up-to-date evidence for a broader range of cataract patients would be desirable to clarify the current impacts and effectiveness of second-eye cataract surgery.

The report was commissioned by the National Institute for Health research (NIHR) HTA programme.  The report is freely available from the NIHR Journals Library.

For more information on SHTAC's research into eye diseases please visit our Research page.

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