Purpose: To investigate the natural course of intraocular pressure (IOP) and its peak after small-incision cataract surgery with chondroitin sulfate 4%-sodium hyaluronate 3% (Viscoat, Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Fort Worth, TX).
Design: Observational case series.
Participants: This prospective study comprised 40 eyes of 40 consecutive cataract patients scheduled for small-incision cataract surgery.
Methods: Cataract surgery was performed with sodium chondroitin sulfate 4%-sodium hyaluronate 3% as the ophthalmic viscosurgical device, which was removed as completely as possible from the eye at the end of surgery. The IOP was measured preoperatively and 30 minutes; 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 20 to 24 hours; and 1 week postoperatively.
Main outcome measures: Postoperative IOP increase.
Results: The mean IOP increased significantly at all observation times during the first 20 to 24 hours, with a peak increase of 13.4+/-9.4 mmHg after 1 hour (P<0.05). In all, 28 eyes (70%) had an IOP spike to 30 mmHg or higher. Sixty-eight percent of these spikes occurred at 30 minutes as well as at 1 hour and 2 hours postoperatively. At 20 to 24 hours, no eye had an IOP spike to 30 mmHg or higher.
Conclusions: Significant IOP increases were found during the first 24 hours, peaking at 1 hour after surgery. With a single postoperative IOP measurement, between 30 minutes and 2 hours after surgery, two thirds of these IOP spikes could be detected. To detect all IOP spikes, a second measurement between 4 and 6 hours after surgery would be necessary.