Cataracts and Posterior Capsular Opacity

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

History - Cataract

The patient should meet all of the following criteria or have another indication for cataract surgery – or example: disabling glare, anisometropia (significant refractive difference between the two eyes):

  1. Have a best corrected visual acuity of 6/12 or worse in either eye or 6/9 or worse where the patient is a professional driver
  2. Have symptoms related to cataract
  3. Be interested in having cataract surgery

All referrals should comply to the Standard Referral guidelines and include in particular:

  • Comorbidities including suitability for surgery
  • Impact of vision loss on ADLs – for example: is the patient at risk of needing placement or in danger of losing their driving license

History - Posterior capsular opacity after cataract extraction

Symptomatic with reduced visual acuity or glare as compared to one month post-cataract surgery.

Tests

All referrals must include an optometrist or ophthalmologist report including:

  • Current refraction with patient's best corrected visual acuity
  • Dilated examination

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Ophthalmology clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Urgent / category 1

Where patient is severely visually disabled due to cataracts (visual acuity 6/36 or less in both eyes) an urgent referral is warranted.

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED
– Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6348 7382
MCH ED
– Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED
– Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED
– Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent:

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

We will endeavour to see these patients within ten days, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine:

Next available appointment