The effect of phacoemulsification on intraocular pressure in medically controlled open-angle glaucoma patients

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 Jan;157(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


Purpose: To evaluate intraocular pressure (IOP) after phacoemulsification in patients with medically controlled open-angle glaucoma (OAG), and examine the association of biometric variables to IOP changes.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: Open-angle glaucoma patients without prior incisional glaucoma surgery undergoing phacoemulsification by a single surgeon between January 1997 and October 2011 were evaluated. Patient charts were reviewed to obtain demographic information, preoperative glaucoma medications, severity and treatment measures, and preoperative and postoperative IOP.

Results: A total of 157 eyes (157 patients) were included in the study. The average preoperative IOP of 16.3 ± 3.6 mm Hg decreased to 14.5 ± 3.4 mm Hg at 1 year (P < .001). Sixty eyes (38%) required additional medications or laser for IOP control within the first year postoperatively, or had a higher IOP at postoperative year 1 without medication change. Among eyes without postoperative medication changes (n = 102), higher preoperative IOP (P < .001), older age (P = .006), and deeper anterior chamber depth (P = .015) were associated with lower postoperative IOP.

Conclusions: Phacoemulsification resulted in a small average decrease in IOP in patients with OAG. A sizeable proportion of medically controlled glaucoma patients with open angles undergoing phacoemulsification experienced an increase in IOP or required more aggressive treatment to control IOP postoperatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Cataract / complications
  • Cataract / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / complications
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tonometry, Ocular


  • Antihypertensive Agents