Purpose: This study presents an evaluation of cataract surgery on diabetic patients. One experienced surgeon carried out phaco emulsification on all subjects and the same surface-coated one-piece PMMA-lens-type was implanted. The lens fluorescence and the blood-aqueous barrier (BAB) were then evaluated as experimental preoperative risk indicators.
Results: During follow-up, 10 out of 39 diabetic patients progressed unilaterally in diabetic retinopathy or developed macular oedema, a significant relative risk. Neither lens fluorescence, BAB, HbA1c, level of retinopathy, type/duration of diabetes, diabetes treatment or antihypertensive treatment differed significantly between the group of patients with postoperative progression of retinopathy/macular oedema and those without. Results indicated NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus/type 2 diabetes) patients might have increased risk of a postoperative macular oedema.
Conclusion: When diabetic retinopathy (DR) is not in a proliferative phase it should not be regarded as a contraindication to modern cataract surgery. Neither lens fluorescence nor BAB is valuable as a risk indicator for postoperative progression of DR.