When do you need to prophylactically treat herpes simplex prior to cataract surgery?
Generally pre-operative Acyclovir is not needed though most wait at least 3 months after the Herpes Simplex is quiet before performing cataract surgery.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Management of patients with herpes simplex virus eye disease having cataract surgery in the United Kingdom.
To standardize the management of patients with herpetic eye disease scheduled for cataract surgery, a questionnaire was sent to each fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists registered as a consultant with a subspecialty interest in cornea. Most respondents agreed that disease stability was required before cataract surgery was offered; 62.3% would operate on patients in whom the disease had been quiescent for 3 to 6 months. The decision to prescribe prophylactic antivirals divided the respondents, with 58.8% in favor of starting antiviral treatment. Most respondents (72.46%) did not start topical antiviral treatment. In regard to changing topical steroid use postoperatively, 80.9% would not change their routine regimen. Oral acyclovir was the first line of treatment for 92.5%. The conclusions were that a significant period of inactivity should be considered before cataract surgery is performed in patients with herpes simplex virus eye disease. Oral antiviral prophylaxis is common clinical practice, but no change in routine postoperative steroid use is needed.