Comparison of IOL power calculation and refractive outcome after laser refractive cataract surgery with a femtosecond laser versus conventional phacoemulsification

J Refract Surg. 2012 Aug;28(8):540-4. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20120703-04. Epub 2012 Jul 13.


Purpose: To compare intraocular lens (IOL) power calculation and refractive outcome between patients who underwent laser refractive cataract surgery with a femtosecond laser and those with conventional cataract surgery.

Methods: In this prospective study, 77 eyes from 77 patients underwent laser refractive cataract surgery (laser group; Alcon LenSx femtosecond laser), and conventional cataract surgery with phacoemulsification was performed in 57 eyes from 57 patients (conventional group). Biometry was done with optical low coherence reflectometry (Lenstar LS900, Haag-Streit AG), and IOL calculation was performed with third-generation IOL formulas (SRK/T, Hoffer Q, and Holladay). The refractive outcome was analyzed using the mean absolute error (MAE; difference between predicted and achieved postoperative spherical equivalent refraction), and multivariable regression analysis was performed to compare the two groups.

Results: No significant differences were found between age, axial length, keratometry, and preoperative corrected visual acuity in the laser and conventional groups (P>.05; Mann-Whitney U test). At least 6 weeks after surgery, MAE was significantly lower in the laser group (0.38±0.28 diopters [D]) than in the conventional group (0.50±0.38 D) (P=.04). The difference was the greatest in short (axial length <22.0 mm, 0.43±0.41 vs 0.63±0.48) and long (axial length >26.0 mm, 0.33±0.24 vs 0.63±0.42) eyes.

Conclusions: Laser refractive cataract surgery with a femtosecond laser resulted in a significantly better predictability of IOL power calculation than conventional phacoemulsification surgery. This difference is possibly due to a more precise capsulorrhexis, resulting in a more stable IOL position.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biometry
  • Cataract Extraction / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Young Adult