A Cost-benefit Analysis of Cataract Surgery based on the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing
This paper uses the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing to explore the self-reported effect of cataract operations on eye-sight. A non-parametric analysis shows clearly that most cataract patients report improved eye-sight after surgery and a parametric analysis provides further information: it shows that the beneficial effect is larger the worse was self-reported eye-sight preceding surgery so that those with very good or excellent eye-sight do not derive immediate benefit. Nevertheless, the long-run effect is suggested to be beneficial. Calibrating the results to existing studies of the effect of imperfect eye-sight on quality of life, the impact of cataract operations on quality-adjusted life-years is found to be similar to that established in previous studies and well above the costs of cataract operations in most circumstances.