Purpose: To evaluate the effect of a suture on surgically induced corneal topographic changes in 5.0 mm clear corneal incisions.
Setting: University Eye Hospital, Vienna, Austria.
Methods: Thirty-seven eyes that had cataract surgery were included in the prospective study. A 5.0 mm long and 0.3 mm deep precut was followed by preparation of a corneal tunnel. After phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation, the self-sealing wound was left unsutured in 19 eyes; one radial 11-0 nylon suture was applied in 18 eyes. Using a TMS-1 videokeratoscope, corneal topography was measured preoperatively and at 1 week and 1 and 3 months postoperatively. The topographic data were evaluated by statistical batch-by-batch analysis. Each topographic image was cut into 178 fields in eight concentric rings. The refractive values of these fields were stored in a database. Differences between the four readings of each patient were calculated and the mean differences of the 178 fields in each group were transformed into color-coded maps. The significance of topographical changes and group comparisons of induced changes were computed by Wilcoxon tests.
Results: Both groups exhibited significant temporal flattening and vertical steepening. The unsutured eyes also displayed significant nasal flattening. Sutureless 5.0 mm clear corneal incisions induced significantly more vertical steepening and nasal flattening than sutured incisions.
Conclusion: Application of one radial 11-0 nylon suture in 5.0 mm temporal clear corneal incisions significantly reduced shape changes in the nasal corneal region.