Objective: To evaluate possible changes of vitreous status in emmetropic eyes after uneventful phacoemulsification surgery, and possible related complications such as the onset of retinal detachment (RD).
Design: Retrospective case series.
Participants: Four hundred fifty-three emmetropic eyes from 453 patients (mean age, 62.03+/-5.57 years) subjected to uneventful phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation in the capsular bag were considered in the study. They had a refractive error within +/-0.5 diopters (mean, -0.21+/-0.08). Eyes with peripheral retinal lattice degeneration were included only if asymptomatic and only if the degeneration involved one retinal quadrant. After cataract surgery, the 453 eyes were evaluated preoperatively at days 1, 15, and 30 and months 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60. The whole period of follow-up was 5 years.
Methods: Evaluation of vitreous status by biomicroscopic examination, indirect binocular ophthalmoscopy, and B-scan ultrasonography.
Main outcome measures: Postoperative onset of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) and RD.
Results: After cataract surgery, a PVD occurred in 107 of 141 (75.88%) eyes without preoperative PVD or lattice degeneration. Posterior vitreous detachment occurred in 41 of 47 eyes (87.23%) with preoperative lattice degeneration and no PVD. Eyes with preoperative lattice degeneration and postoperative PVD showed a higher incidence of RD after cataract surgery (21.27%) than eyes without preoperative PVD or lattice degeneration (0.70%). In all patients with lattice degeneration, RD originated from horseshoe retinal tears on lattice areas located on the superior quadrants. No correlation was observed between the development of RD and age.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the onset of postoperative PVD should be considered an important risk factor for the development of RD after cataract surgery, particularly in eyes with lattice areas.