CEDARS/ASPENS Guidelines for Pre-operative Testing and Protocols for Elective Ophthalmic Surgery During the COVID 19 Pandemic

The CEDARS/ASPENS society consists of 83 Ophthalmology Key Opinion Leaders in the Cataract, Refractive, Glaucoma and Anterior Segment surgical arenas. In light of the reopening of our country in most areas, and resumption of elective surgery, our society has developed some general guidelines for ophthalmic surgeons. CEDARS ASPENS recommends that ophthalmologists, in collaboration with their respective facilities, adhere to state and local guidance in the safe reopening of surgical facilities. However, in regard to preoperative PCR testing for the SARS-COV2 virus (COVID-19) in cases at low risk of aerosolizing body fluids such as cataract and other anterior segment surgeries performed under monitored anesthesia care (MAC)/conscious sedation, routine PCR testing for SARS-COV2 should not be mandatory. Appropriate modifications to surgical protocols should be based on CDC guidelines. These may include face coverings for all staff and patients, social distancing in waiting room areas, and all other screening policies in adherence with CDC recommendations and state and local guidelines.

As we learn more about the prevalence and transmission of this virus, and as testing rapidity, availability and capacity increases, these guidelines may change.

Quentin B. Allen, MD President