Purpose: To determine the longterm risk of pseudophakic retinal detachment (PRD) in a defined population undergoing standardized phacoemulsification surgery at a single centre.
Design: We carried out a register-based, retrospective, consecutive, uncontrolled study. All 6352 eyes that underwent cataract surgery at our institution during the years 1996–1998 were included in the study. The main outcome measure was the incidence of surgery for PRD.
Methods: Cataract-operated eyes were identified by a search in the local hospital registry. Eyes that subsequently underwent surgery for PRD were identified by a search in the Danish Patients Registry (LPR). Follow-up ended by 31 December 2003. Eyes in patients who died before that date were censored.
Results: The 8-year cumulated incidence of PRD after phacoemulsification was 0.93 per eye (95% CI 0.65–1.33). This is 8.77 (95% CI 7.12–10.72) times higher than expected in eyes that do not undergo cataract surgery. The incidence rate for retinal detachment was significantly higher in pseudophakic eyes than in the background population for at least 6 years after surgery. Patient mortality was slightly increased for men, but no different for women from that of the background population.
Conclusion: For eyes undergoing phacoemulsification surgery, the cumulated incidence of PRD continues to increase for at least 8 years after surgery. Comparison of the cumulated incidence of PRD between different studies requires equal lengths of follow-up.