INTRODUCTION: This study evaluated anterior segment surgeries performed during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Prevention of virus transmission is a critical consideration for surgeons, and includes assessment of etiology, the referral region, demographic characteristics, and the surgery to be performed.
METHODS: The data of 144 patients who underwent anterior segment surgery between March 19, 2020 and June 1, 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. The patient demographic data and details of ophthalmological examination findings, the region patients were referred from, and the type of surgery performed were recorded and analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 144 patients, 49 women (34%) and 95 men (66%), were included in this study. The mean age of the patients was 31.30±25.88 years (range: 186 years). The presenting complaint was in the right eye in 43.7% of the cases, in the left eye in 52.8%, and in both eyes in 3.5% of the cases. While 94.4% of the applications were from Istanbul, the remaining 5.6% were from outside the province. Though 43.7% of the cases were patients seen previously at the study hospital in Istanbul, 56.3% presented for the first time. This hospital was the first referral center in only 39.6% of the cases. Evaluation of etiology indicated that corneal perforation (18.1%) was the most common, followed by keratitis (13.2%). The most common surgical intervention applied was amnion membrane transplantation (19.4%), followed by perforation repair (16.7%).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Ophthalmological surgeries continue to be performed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, special algorithms must be used to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to ensure continuity of healthcare for ophthalmology patients.