Retina. 2022 May 23. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000003540. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The importance of consistent outpatient follow-up for management of diabetic eye disease has been well-established. The objective of this study was to identify patient factors associated with being lost to follow-up in post-surgical patients after undergoing pars plana vitrectomy for diabetic eye disease.
METHODS: The charts of diabetic patients undergoing pars plana vitrectomy for non-clearing vitreous hemorrhage at an academic medical center by a single surgeon between 2012 and 2019 were reviewed. The rates of loss to follow-up during the postoperative period were compared based on patient distance from clinic and insurance status.
RESULTS: A total of 144 patients met inclusion criteria. 45 patients (31.25%) were lost to follow-up during the three-month postoperative period. The rate of loss to follow-up increased with every postoperative visit and was significantly higher for patients living greater than 30 miles from clinic versus patients living within 30 miles from clinic. There was no statistically significant difference in loss to follow-up based on insurance status.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased distance from clinic presents a challenge to providing safe and effective post-surgical care to diabetic patients. This presents opportunities for co-management or other creative strategies to improve post-surgical follow-up rates for at-risk patients.