Cataract, a degradation of the optical quality of the crystalline lens, progressive and age-related, is the leading cause of treatable blindness worldwide. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed by ophthalmologists and is the only effective treatment for cataracts. Advances in the surgical techniques and better postoperative visual outcomes have progressively changed the primary concern of cataract surgery to become a procedure refined to yield the best possible refractive results. Sufficient mydriasis during cataract removal is critical to a successful surgical outcome. Poor pupil dilation can lead to serious sight-threatening complications that significantly increase the cost of surgery and decrease patients comfort. Mydriasis is obtained using anticholinergic and sympathomimetic drugs. Phenylephrine, an α1-adrenergic receptor agonist, can efficiently dilate the pupil when administered by intracameral injection. Additionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ketorolac, which inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, are used to decrease intraoperative miosis, control pain and inflammation associated with cataract surgery, and to prevent the development of cystoid macular edema following surgery. Recently, a new combination of phenylephrine and ketorolac (Omidria®) has been approved by United States Food and Drug Administration for use during cataract surgery to maintain intraoperative mydriasis, prevent miosis, and reduce postoperative pain and inflammation. Clinical trials have shown that this new combination is effective, combining the positive effects of both drugs with a good safety profile and patient tolerability. Moreover, recent reports suggest that this combination is also effective in patients with high risk of poor pupil dilation. In conclusion, cataract is a global problem that significantly affects patients' quality of life. However, they can be managed with a safe and minimally invasive surgery. Advances in surgical techniques and newer pharmacological agents such as the combination of phenylephrine and ketorolac, together with better intraocular lenses, have greatly improved visual outcomes and thus patients' expectations regarding visual recovery are also increasing.
Keywords: Omidria®; cataract surgery; ketorolac; mydriasis; phenylephrine.