Purpose: To evaluate the astigmatic correcting effect of paired opposite clear corneal incisions on steep axis in cataract patients.
Setting: Sligo General Hospital, Sligo, Ireland.
Methods: Fifteen eyes of 14 cataract patients with a mean age of 78.4 years +/- 6.38 (SD) (range 69 to 90 years) were recruited for the study. Inclusion criterion was topographic astigmatism of more than 2 diopters (D) in the cataractous eye. Preoperative refraction, autokeratometry, and topography were performed. The steep axis was marked before sub-Tenon's anesthesia was given. Paired 3-step self-sealing opposite clear corneal incisions were made 1 mm anterior to limbus on the steep axis with a 3.2 mm keratome. One incision was used for standard phacoemulsification, and the other was left unused for astigmatic correction. All the patients had day-case surgery. The first follow-up was at 1 month. Postoperative topography, keratometry, and refraction were performed on all patients.
Results: Mean preoperative and postoperative topographic corneal astigmatism were 3.26 +/- 1.03 D (range 2.30 to 5.80 D) and 2.02 +/- 1.04 D (range 0.20 to 4.00 D), respectively. Mean astigmatic correction was 1.23 +/- 0.49 D (range 0.30 to 2.20 D). Mean surgically induced astigmatism by vector analysis was 2.10 +/- 0.79 D (range 0.80 to 3.36 D). There were no incision-related complications.
Conclusion: Paired opposite clear corneal incisions on the steep axis is a useful way to correct astigmatism in cataract patients, requiring no extra skill or instrumentation.