Functional improvement after phacoemulsification cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1999 Sep;25(9):1226-31. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00193-5.


Purpose: To evaluate subjective functional visual improvement after phacoemulsification and intraocular lens (IOL) implantation and identify patient characteristics and treatment features associated with no functional improvement.

Setting: Academic referral practice, Cullen Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the surgical results in 106 consecutive eyes of 102 patients who completed the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Cataract Data Collection Form preoperatively and 1 month postoperatively. One surgeon performed all the surgery. The relationship of patient characteristics and treatment features and reported visual function was analyzed using an analysis of variance and the Wilcoxon rank sum and Fisher exact tests.

Results: One month postoperatively, all patients demonstrated improved visual acuity. However, 15 patients (14%) reported unimproved or decreased visual function. No statistically significant intergroup difference (P > .05) was detected in mean preoperative, postoperative, and fellow eye best spectacle-corrected visual acuities or refractive errors; reported severity of preoperative symptoms or satisfaction with vision; reported preoperative daily activity functioning or prevalence of hypertension and diabetes; type of anesthesia, lens material, or wound closure used; intraoperative or postoperative complication rates. However, patients reporting unimproved vision tended to be older and less satisfied with their quality of life and medical care than those reporting improved vision (P = .02, .03, .01, respectively).

Conclusions: Self-reported visual function generally improved after phacoemulsification and IOL implantation; however, some older patients less satisfied with their quality of life and medical care reported no functional improvement despite improved visual acuity. These patients might benefit from an extended preoperative discussion of postoperative expectations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*