Frequency of Urgent or Emergent Vitreoretinal Surgical Procedures in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA ophthalmology Breazzano, M. P., Nair, A. A., Arevalo, J. F., Barakat, M. R., Berrocal, A. M., Chang, J. S., Chen, A. n., Eliott, D. n., Garg, S. J., Ghadiali, Q. n., Gong, D. n., Grewal, D. S., Handa, J. T., Henderson, M. n., Leiderman, Y. I., Leng, T. n., Mannina, A. n., Mendel, T. A., Mustafi, D. n., de Koo, L. C., Patel, S. N., Patel, T. P., Prenner, J. n., Richards, P. n., Singh, R. P., Wykoff, C. C., Yannuzzi, N. A., Yu, H. n., Modi, Y. S., Chang, S. n. 2021


The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) indicated that urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures should continue during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although decreases in the frequency of critical procedures have been reported outside the field of ophthalmology, analyses are limited by volume, geography, and time.To evaluate whether the frequency of ophthalmic surgical procedures deemed urgent or emergent by the AAO changed across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.Vitreoretinal practices from 17 institutions throughout the US participated in this multicenter cross-sectional study. The frequency of 11 billed vitreoretinal Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes across respective weeks was obtained from each practice between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Data were clustered into intravitreal injections (code 67028), lasers and cryotherapy (codes 67141, 67145, and 67228), retinal detachment (RD) repairs (codes 67107, 67108, 67110, and 67113), and other vitrectomies (codes 67036, 67039, and 67040). Institutions were categorized by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West Coast), practice setting (academic [tax-exempt] or private [non-tax-exempt]), and date of respective statewide stay-at-home orders.Nationwide changes in the frequency of billing for urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.A total of 526?536 CPT codes were ascertained: 483?313 injections, 19?257 lasers or cryotherapy, 14?949 RD repairs, and 9017 other vitrectomies. Relative to 2019, a weekly institutional decrease in injections was observed from March 30 to May 2, 2020, with a maximal 38.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 437.8 [436.3] to 273.8 [269.0] injections) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -259 to -69 injections; P?=?.002). A weekly decrease was also identified that spanned a longer interval, at least until study conclusion (March 16 to May 31, 2020), for lasers and cryotherapy, with a maximal 79.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 6.6 [7.7] to 1.5 [2.0] procedures) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -6.8 to -3.3 procedures; P?

View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.0036

View details for PubMedID 33662093