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Jono Drew, March 21 2023

The climate impact of phacoemulsification cataract surgery in Spain

Research highlights


Climate change is one of the most important threats to human health nowadays. The healthcare industry produces a significant part of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The aim of this study is to assess direct and indirect GHG emissions due to cataract surgery in Spain to identify opportunities for improving. This observational case series study estimates and analyses the carbon footprint of a single cataract surgery using phacoemulsification in Ávila Hospital. ISO standard 14064 was applied. The carbon footprint of a single cataract surgery in Ávila Hospital was 86.62 kg CO eq. Medical and pharmaceutical equipment were responsible for 85% of GHG emissions. Collaboration between pharmaceuticals and ophthalmologists is important to improve the environmental impact of cataract surgery. Future research is needed to introduce changes that do not compromise patient and surgeon safety. Green surgery models could play an encouraging role in the new global health scene.

Methods & Results

For a complete summary of this data source and to see reported environmental impact values for studied products and activities, explore the HealthcareLCA Database.


Pascual Prieto J, Nieto Gómez C, Rodríguez-Devesa I. The carbon footprint of cataract surgery in Spain. Archivos de la Sociedad Española de Oftalmología (English ed). 2023.

Written by

Jono Drew

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