Author(s): Linebarger EJ, Hardten DR, Shah GK, Lindstrom RL
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Abstract The techniques and results of cataract surgery have changed dramatically during the past three decades. In the USA, we have moved from intracapsular cataract extraction as the preferred technique to almost exclusively extracapsular techniques. Smaller incisions have become the standard, with phacoemulsification now being the method of choice for most surgeons. Along with these advances have come improved intraocular lens materials and designs, especially well suited for use with smaller incisions. Phacoemulsification as a method to remove the cataractous lens was first proposed more than 20 years ago. Advances in techniques and equipment have led to a dramatic increase in the popularity of phacoemulsification with increased safety and efficiency. Viscoelastic agents have been developed synchronously with modern phacoemulsification techniques, playing an integral role in the success of this new technology. Improved surgical techniques for removing the anterior lens capsule have decreased the incidence of both intraoperative and postoperative capsular complications. Nucleus removal, formerly performed primarily in the anterior chamber, is now performed in the posterior chamber, decreasing damage to the corneal endothelium. Improved wound construction allows many wounds to be left unsutured, and smaller wounds allow shorter recovery time and greater intraoperative control and safety. Intraocular lenses can have smaller optic sizes and still maintain accurate centration. Foldable intraocular lenses can take advantage of the smaller incision, even further shortening the time to visual recovery. Continual evolution of this technology promises to further improve patient outcomes after cataract surgery.
This article was published in Surv Ophthalmol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology