Effect of femtosecond laser cataract surgery on the macula

J Refract Surg. 2011 Oct;27(10):717-22. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20110825-01. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Purpose: To compare the effect of conventional and femtosecond laser-assisted (Alcon LenSx Inc) phacoemulsification on the macula using optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Methods: Twenty eyes of 20 patients underwent uneventful cataract surgery in both study groups: femtosecond laser-assisted (laser group) and conventional phacoemulsification (control group). Macular thickness and volume were evaluated by OCT preoperatively and 1 week and 1 month postoperatively. Primary outcomes were OCT retinal thickness in 3 macular areas and total macular volume at 1 week and 1 month postoperative. Secondary outcomes were changes in retinal thickness at 1 week and 1 month postoperatively, with respect to preoperative retinal thickness values and effective phacoemulsification time.

Results: Multivariable modeling of the effect of surgery on postoperative macular thickness showed significantly lower macular thickness in the inner retinal ring in the laser group after adjusting for age and preoperative thickness across the time course (P=.002). In the control group, the inner macular ring was significantly thicker at 1 week (mean: 21.68 μm; 95% confidence limit [CL]: 11.93-31.44 μm, P<.001). After 1 month, this difference decreased to a mean of 17.56 μm (95% CL: -3.21-38.32 μm, P=.09) and became marginally significant.

Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that femtosecond laser-assisted cataract extraction does not differ in postoperative macular thickness as compared with standard ultrasound phacoemulsification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Capsule of the Lens / surgery
  • Capsulorhexis / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Macula Lutea / anatomy & histology*
  • Macular Edema / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudophakia / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Young Adult