Purpose: To study the results of phacoemulsification in eyes with white cataract.
Setting: Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India.
Methods: This retrospective study comprised 212 consecutive patients with white cataract: 192 mature (90.6%), 11 intumescent (5.2%), and 9 hypermature (4.2%). Patients had phacoemulsification and continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis. After the nucleus was removed by the divide and conquer or the phaco chop technique, a posterior chamber intraocular lens was implanted. Preoperative and intraoperative findings, as well as postoperative outcomes, were analyzed.
Results: Intraoperative complications included premature entry of the tunnel into the anterior chamber in 4 eyes (1.9%), incomplete capsulorhexis in 60 (28.3%), posterior capsular tear in 4 (1.9%), conversion to a manual nonphacoemulsification technique in 4 (1.9%), intraoperative miosis in 7 (3.3%), and iris chafing in 2 (0.9%). Mean phacoemulsification time was 2.03 minutes (range 0 to 5.8 minutes). A best corrected visual acuity of 6/9 or better was attained in 131 patients (61.8%) on the first postoperative day and in 199 patients (93.9%) at 1 month. Postoperative complications included moderate transient striate keratopathy with corneal edema in 12 eyes (5.7%) and iritis in 2 (0.9%).
Conclusions: Phacoemulsification was a safe and effective technique to remove white mature cataract in eyes in a developing country.