Purpose: To compare the safety and efficacy of phacoemulsification and manual small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) to treat white cataracts in southern India.
Setting: Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry, India.
Design: Randomized prospective study.
Methods: Consecutive patients with white cataract were randomly assigned to have phacoemulsification or manual SICS by 1 of 3 surgeons experienced in both techniques. Surgical complications, operative time, uncorrected (UDVA) and corrected (CDVA) distance visual acuities, and surgically induced astigmatism were compared.
Results: On the first postoperative day, the UDVA was comparable in the 2 groups (P = .805) and the manual SICS group had less corneal edema (10.2%) than the phacoemulsification group (18.7%) (P = .047). At 6 weeks, the UDVA was 20/60 or better in 99 patients (87.6%) in the phacoemulsification group and 96 patients (82.0%) in the manual SICS group (P = .10) and the CDVA was 20/60 or better in 112 (99.0%) and 115 (98.2%), respectively (P = .59). The mean time was statistically significantly shorter in the manual SICS group (8.8 minutes ± 3.4 [SD]) than in the phacoemulsification group (12.2 ± 4.6 minutes) (P<.001). Posterior capsule rupture occurred in 3 eyes (2.2%) in the phacoemulsification group and 2 eyes (1.4%) in the manual SICS group (P = .681).
Conclusions: Both techniques achieved excellent visual outcomes with low complication rates. Because manual SICS is significantly faster, less expensive, and less technology-dependent than phacoemulsification, it may be a more appropriate technique in eyes with mature cataract in the developing world.
Copyright © 2010 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.