Purpose: To prospectively and comprehensively compare the clinical results of two small-incision cataract surgery procedures, silicone intraocular lens (refractive index of 1.46) implantation through a 3.2-mm incision and polymethylmethacrylate intraocular lens implantation through a 5.5-mm incision.
Methods: Two hundred eyes with cataract randomly were assigned to either procedure. Except for incision size, identical surgical methods were used in every case. Data on uncorrected and corrected visual acuity, keratometry, corneal topography, flare-cell measurement, fluorophotometry, specular microscopy, glare disability measurement, and photographic examination of intraocular lens decentration were analyzed up to 6 months after surgery.
Results: Eyes in the 3.2-mm incision group displayed significantly better uncorrected and corrected visual acuity in the early postoperative period, lower aqueous flare intensity and cell counts immediately after surgery, less operatively induced astigmatism throughout the study period, and less corneal topographic changes taken 3 months after surgery. No significant between-group differences were noted for other parameters. Complications in the two groups were few and comparable.
Conclusion: Both procedures of small-incision cataract surgery offered satisfactory clinical results, but 3.2-mm incision cataract surgery allowed significantly earlier recovery of visual function and better preservation of corneal shape.