Cataract Eye Pressure Research Selected As Top U.S. Study at National Conference

Dr. John S. Jarstad

A research study conducted by MU Health Care ophthalmologists was selected as a finalist at the April 2018 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Washington, DC. Only five research studies out of 100 scientific submissions from leading eye research institutions internationally earned finalist honors, and the MU study was the only one from researchers in the United States.

Jella A. An, MD
Jella A. An, MD

John S. Jarstad, MD, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of LASIK surgery at MU Health Care, presented the study, “Techniques to Adjust Intraocular Pressure Immediately after Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery and Micro Incision Cataract Surgery to Avoid IOP Spike,” with Jella A. An, MD, assistant professor and MU Health Care chief of glaucoma surgery, along with Benjamin Buckner, MD, a senior ophthalmology resident.

For the study, the researchers followed 176 consecutive cataract patients undergoing routine bladeless laser cataract surgery or micro-incision cataract surgery at the Missouri Center for Outpatient Surgery. The surgeons measured patients’ eye pressure after surgery with a sterile, hand-held device known as a surgical tonometer. If the pressure was too high or too low, the surgeons adjusted the patients’ eye pressure to a normal level. Surgeons measured the patients’ eye pressure again the day after surgery. In addition to reduced risk of complications, using the surgical tonometer after surgery also provided cost savings.

“The fact that so few patients developed high eye pressure spikes (the most common complication after cataract surgery) was really an exciting discovery,” Jarstad said.