How Long After Cataract Surgery Can Endophthalmitis Occur?

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgical procedures performed today. However, it is not without its risks, and one of the most serious complications is endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis is an infection of the eye that can occur after cataract surgery, and it can be acute or chronic. Acute post-cataract endophthalmitis is typically seen within six weeks of the operation, usually within a few days.

It is caused by infection of the fluids exposed during or after cataract surgery, and it can be extremely destructive to vision. In rare cases, patients who were hospitalized for a different reason and then developed endophthalmitis within 90 days of cataract surgery while in the hospital would not be classified as endophthalmitis. A study conducted in Chinese ophthalmology departments revealed that the time of endophthalmitis after cataract surgery ranged from 1 to 40 days, with an average of 10.57 days ± 11.17.Univariate analysis showed that discoloration behind the lens during cataract surgery had a significant effect on inhibiting the incidence of postoperative prevention of endophthalmitis. Other risk factors for infectious endophthalmitis after cataract surgery included intraoperative rupture of the posterior capsule, non-use of antibiotics, and lack of use of washing behind the lens.

Toxic syndrome of the anterior segment after uncomplicated cataract surgery has also been associated with intracameral use of cefuroxime. In terms of prognosis, old age, poor visual acuity at the time of presentation, gram-negative bacterial infection, and a short time between cataract surgery and signs of endophthalmitis were all associated with a poor visual outcome. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can improve vision significantly. However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with it, including endophthalmitis.

Patients should discuss any concerns they have with their ophthalmologist before undergoing cataract surgery.

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