YAG laser posterior capsulotomy highly effective in ASC space — AAAHC's Dr. Naomi Kuznets weighs in

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care's Institute for Quality Improvement conducted a benchmarking study on YAG laser posterior capsulotomy, a relatively high volume ambulatory ophthalmology procedure.

Institute researchers collected information on organizational practices, procedure processes and outcomes from 28 U.S.-based organizations between January 2017 and June 2017. The organizations performed a combined 15,509 YAG laser posterior capsulotomy procedures annually. AAAHC Institute's Vice President and Senior Director Naomi Kuznets, PhD, shared her thoughts with Becker's ASC Review about the study and the institute's next steps.

Dr. Kuznets says the institute wanted to study the procedure because of the popularity of the Institute’s cataract study and the likelihood that, since this is a procedure that is associated with cataract surgery, it was likely to be of interest to ambulatory organization also. AAAHC wanted to help organizations benchmark with other centers so they could compare their performance with YAG procedures to others’ nationally and use this information for quality improvement purposes.

The study revealed several insights including:

  • 94 percent of patients wait less than one month after scheduling YAG laser posterior capsulotomy surgery before undergoing the procedure
  • 96 percent of patients are able to schedule their YAG laser posterior capsulotomy surgery at their desired time in the ASC
  • 100 percent of patients resume daily living within a week of undergoing YAG laser posterior capsulotomy surgery
  • 88 percent of patients reported improved vision after YAG laser posterior capsulotomy surgery in an ASC; 96 percent of patients reported that their physician rated their eyesight as better after the procedure than before
  • 99.6 percent of patients say they're comfortable while undergoing YAG laser posterior capsulotomy surgery in the ASC and 98 percent are comfortable after discharge
  • The median pre-procedure time was 42 minutes, while themedian procedure time itself was just two minutes in an ASC

This was the first study the AAAHC Institute conducted on the procedure, and Dr. Kuznets says the results were interesting.

"Just as with cataract surgery, the procedure itself is very rapid," Dr. Kuznets says. "Another similarity is the time associated with preparing the eye for the procedure."

With both YAG and cataract physicians primarily waiting for the eye drops to take effect before they can perform the procedure. Dr. Kuznets added researchers didn't anticipate seeing a high complication rate related to the procedure and the results confirmed those beliefs.

The AAAHC Institute is performing the study for the first six months of this year. Registration is currently open, and if a center has the required caseload, they can click here for more information. Interested centers have until March to register.

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