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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43

Teleophthalmology postoperative evaluation of patients following pterygium surgery in the Amazon

1 Vision Institute, IPEPO, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2 Institute of Biomedical Sciences 5, University of Sao Paulo, Rondonia, Brazil
3 Vision Institute, IPEPO; Ophthalmology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
4 Ophthalmology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Nicole Bragantini Larivoir
MD, Rua Pedro Scapim 165/202, São Matheus, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pajo.pajo_39_22

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Introduction: Pterygium represents a significant cause of visual impairment and blindness in the Amazon and surgery is the only definitive treatment available. The cost of surgery and the need for prolonged postoperative follow-up have proved to be an obstacle to its management. The aim of this prospective study carried out in the southern region of the Amazon was to evaluate telemedicine in the pterygium surgery follow-up to help make pterygium surgery postoperative care feasible in places without ophthalmologic assistance. Materials and Methods: Postoperative follow-up care was done through teleconsultation. It involved capturing photographs from the corneal and conjunctiva by trained technicians and sending them to a reading center for an ophthalmologist's assessment based on an asynchronous (store-and-forward) model. Patients and ophthalmologists were inquired about their satisfaction regarding the postoperative follow-up. Results: All pictures were classified as adequate, allowing proper assessments of results and complications. It was possible to manage the postoperative and conclude there were no postoperative surgical complications during the 6-month follow-up. All patients reported satisfaction with the remote performed evaluation and considered that all their doubts and expectations were met. Conclusion: Teleophthalmology allows remote access and can significantly improve eye care quality, access, and affordability. It may represent an alternative to providing pterygium surgery postoperative monitoring in areas without the availability of an ophthalmologist, making it possible to combat one of the leading causes of reversible blindness in the equatorial region.

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