The increasing demand for cataract surgery, combined with limited resources, has created renewed interest in daycase admission. We have audited the results of all daycase and inpatient cataract surgery in a large unit over a six-month period to determine the factors influencing daycase admission and surgical outcome; 34% of cataract patients were admitted as daycases in the study period. Neither distance travelled by the patient nor age appear to influence daycase admission. However, the differing policies of the individual consultant surgeons resulted in a wide variation in the number of operations performed on a daycase basis by each firm. The rate of preoperative complications was unaffected by daycase admission, by the grade of surgeon operating, or by the type of anaesthetic employed. Only 2.1% of daycase admissions resulted in unplanned inpatient admission on the day of surgery, with another 2.1% being readmitted within six months of surgery. Late cancellation of surgery was much lower for daycases (0.4%) than for inpatients (5.1%).
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