Purpose: To study the nature and frequency of anterior chamber contamination during phacoemulsification.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India.
Methods: Eighty eyes of 80 patients having routine phacoemulsification cataract surgery were recruited into this prospective study. Bacterial cultures from the intraoperative anterior chamber aspirates from the patients were assessed.
Results: Anterior chamber fluid aspirates were positive for bacteria in 37 eyes (46.25%). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most common aerobe and Propionibacterium acnes, the most common anaerobe.
Conclusion: Results indicate that phacoemulsification has no proven advantage over conventional extracapsular cataract extraction in reducing intraoperative bacterial contamination.