Background: Many adults who undergo glaucoma filtering surgery also need surgical treatment of coexisting cataract. Recent reports of the use of new alternative non-penetrating techniques in combination with phacoemulsification have given encouraging results. The purpose of this study was to compare the safety and efficacy of viscocanalostomy and phacoviscocanalostomy in the management of medically uncontrolled open-angle glaucoma.
Methods: Twenty patients who underwent phacoviscocanalostomy in one eye each were enrolled in the study. Twenty matching patients who underwent viscocanalostomy in one eye each at our institution were selected as the control group. Postoperative reductions in intraocular pressure (IOP) and number of antiglaucoma medications were compared between the groups. Visual acuity and complications were secondary outcomes.
Results: Significant reductions of IOP and of use of antiglaucoma medication occurred in both groups (p < 0.05); these results were comparable in the two groups (p > 0.05). The mean IOP reduction was 34% in the eyes that underwent viscocanalostomy alone and 38% in the eyes that underwent phacoviscocanalostomy. The success rates of the two procedures were also comparable (p > 0.05). In the combined-surgery group the best-corrected visual acuity improved by 2 or more lines in 18 eyes (90%). Intraoperative complications did not occur in either group.
Interpretation: Combining phacoemulsification with viscocanalostomy did not have a negative effect on the IOP control achieved by viscocanalostomy alone and did not increase the complication rate. Phacoviscocanalostomy was safe and effective in the surgical management of eyes with both glaucoma and cataract.