Phacoemulsification in eyes with posterior polar cataract

Robert Stanić, Kajo Bućan, Karmen Stanić-Jurasin, Zeljko Kovacić
Acta Clinica Croatica 2012, 51 (1): 55-8
The aim of the study was to evaluate the results of phacoemulsification in eyes with posterior polar cataract and to assess the risk factors for posterior capsular rupture during phaco surgery. This prospective study included 13 patients (14 eyes) undergoing phacoemulsification surgery with intraocular lens implantation. Intact posterior capsule was present in 10 (71.5%) eyes, posterior capsular rupture in 4 (28.5%) eyes, one of them with vitreal loss and requiring anterior vitrectomy. Of the eyes with intact posterior capsule, 5 (35%) had capsular plaque which was removed by gentle aspiration; in one case posterior capsulorrhexis was performed to remove the plaque; and postoperative capsule was clear in 4 (28.5%) eyes. In 3 eyes with capsular rupture, there was soft nucleus and capsular opacification greater than 3 mm in diameter, and the patients were under 40 years old. One capsular rupture occurred in dense cataract. The incidence of posterior capsular rupture in our study was 28.5%; other authors reported the incidence between 7.1% and 36%. Many different techniques have been described by other surgeons to avoid capsular rupture; however, in our opinion, posterior capsular rupture could not be avoided in some cases. In our study, the risk factors for capsular rupture in posterior polar cataract were soft nucleus with large capsular opacification and younger patient age. Our results of visual acuity after phacoemulsification in posterior polar cataracts are consistent with those reported by other authors: in 9 eyes, visual acuity was 0.8 or more (Snellen chart), and in 5 eyes there was no satisfactory improvement of visual acuity, probably due to amblyopia because the majority of the cataracts were unilateral. Accordingly, phacoemulsification in posterior polar cataracts, when done carefully, leads to good postoperative results and good visual improvement in most cases.

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