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‘Cataract surgery, most performed operation in Korea’
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.12.21 15:14
  • Updated 2017.12.21 16:27
  • comments 0

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in Korea, with men getting it earlier than women, data compiled by Kim’s Eye Hospital showed Thursday.

The National Health Insurance Service says around 360,000 people underwent cataract surgery in Korea in 2016 alone, making it the most performed surgery covered by insurance. Cataract is a vision-impairing condition caused by clouding of the lens in the eye. The disease, related to aging, is common in older people.

According to data compiled by Kim’s, the biggest demographic of surgery recipients was those in their 60s with 35 percent, followed by those in their 70s (29 percent), those in their 50s (19 percent), and those in their 80s (8 percent).

Kim’s Eye Hospital director Kim Byung-hyup performs cataract surgery at the clinic.

As for gender ratio, more women got the surgery than men with a 55-45 split, data showed.

When accounting for age and gender brackets, more men in their 40s got it than women in their 40s with a 65-35 split. The same held true for those in their 50s with 54 percent being male and 46 percent being female, the clinic said.

In the 60 years old demographic, there were around 10 to 40 percent more women than men, it added.

For those over 30, data showed 14 out of 36 people got the surgery because of cataracts induced by atopy, a skin condition characterized by an itchy and inflamed skin.

Other reasons included uveitis, diabetes, and trauma, while the number of cases without prior conditions or cause was around 25 percent, the hospital said.

The statistics were compiled from 8,000 cataract surgeries performed at Kim’s Eye Hospital where 26 out of around 50 optometrists specialize in the operation, it said.

The eye hospital, which has the most extensive optometrists’ staff in Korea, performs an average of 38 cataract surgeries a day, it added.


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