Purpose: The benefits of sutureless cataract surgery have not been available to the majority of developing world patients. This report describes a surgical technique developed to gain the benefits of self-sealing sutureless techniques, without the need for costly, complex instrumentation, expensive consumables, or difficult nucleus fragmentation manoeuvres in the anterior chamber.
Method: A detailed description of a sutureless technique that uses only standard manual extracapsular cataract extraction instrumentation is presented. The clinical records of 362 consecutive completed sutureless surgeries were reviewed, and preliminary indicative data of visual outcome for those having follow up between postoperative weeks 3 and 8 are also presented.
Results: Hospital and eye camp experience confirms this operation offers speed, routinely 5 min or less with mature cataracts, reduced cost because no suture, viscoelastic or anterior chamber maintainer is needed, wound security and stability, and rapid effective visual rehabilitation. Uncorrected distance visual acuity during the third to eighth postoperative week was available for 266 of the 362 patients (73%): 10, 145, 101, and 10 had acuities of better than 6/9, 6/9-6/18, 6/24-6/60, and worse than 6/60, respectively. Ninety-seven, 165, 12, and two of the 276 (76%) patients with recorded corrected distance acuity were in the same groups. Comparing postoperative with preoperative corneal astigmatism for each patient with postoperative information available (208), without regard to axis, the amplitude of astigmatism worsened by a mean of 0.94 dioptres (+/- 0.17, 95% confidence; +/- 1.23 standard deviation; 7.5D maximum worsening; 2.5D maximum improvement). No attempt has been made to analyse complication type or frequency in this preliminary report.
Conclusion: The authors believe this sutureless cataract extraction technique to be an innovation with widespread application in the developing world. Further and more exhaustive critical appraisal is warranted.