To determine the frequency and nature of intraoperatlve complications of endocapsular phacoemulsification cataract surgery.
Dalcross Private Hospital and the Departments of Ophthalmology, Concord Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
This prospective study included the first 1000 cases of planned endocapsular phacoemulsification cataract surgery performed by an experienced surgeon. A standardized proforma was completed at the time of surgery. Data recorded included pre-existing ocular abnormalities, duration of surgery, nuclear sclerosis grade, and intraoperative complications.
Major complications comprised posterior capsule tears with vitreous loss (1.4%), isolated posterior capsule tears (0.7%), and zonulysis (0.1%). Minor complications included anterior capsule tears (3.8%), iris prolapse (0.6%), and ciliary body incision (0.2%). There was a significant trend toward complications as the nuclear sclerosis grade increased. The incidence of major complications was 9.3% in the first 150 cases and 0.9% in the last 850. This represents a relative risk of 9.9 (95% confidence interval 4.2 to 23.0) of a major complication occurring in the first 150 compared with the later 850 cases.
The frequency of major and minor complications fell sharply after the first 150 operations and was maintained. This study may provide a guide for beginning phacoemulsification surgeons and a basis for experienced surgeons to compare their performance outcomes.