Intraocular pressure changes and the implications on patient review after phacoemulsification

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2003 Mar;29(3):504-7. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(02)01481-5.


Purpose: To determine the pattern of intraocular pressure (IOP) change postoperatively and its bearing on the timing of postoperative review.

Setting: Ophthalmology department of a district general hospital, Northamptonshire, England.

Methods: One hundred eyes of 100 consecutive patients having uneventful phacoemulsification were included in this study. The IOP was measured preoperatively and 2 hours, 1 day, and 1 week postoperatively. The IOP readings were statistically analyzed using the Fisher exact probability test.

Results: From 1 week before surgery, there was a mean rise in IOP of 8.14 mm Hg 2 hours after surgery followed by a mean fall of 5.18 mm Hg at 24 hours (next-day review). The mean fall in IOP at 1 week was 2.94 mm Hg. Ten percent of patients had an IOP greater than or equal to 35 mm Hg 2 hours postoperatively and required oral IOP-lowering agents. All patients had an IOP lower than 35 mm Hg at the next-day review. At 1 day, 18.6% of patients had a higher IOP than at 2 hours; however, the mean IOP was 21.39 mm Hg.

Conclusions: The results show it is safe to review patients 2 hours after uneventful phacoemulsification and omit the next-day review. This enhances patient acceptance of true day-case cataract surgery as it eliminates the need for an inpatient stay and transport on the following day. It also improves utilization of hospital resources. A larger study will help confirm the conclusions of this study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Physical Examination
  • Postoperative Period
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Time Factors


  • Silicone Elastomers