Background and objective: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of combined surgery.
Patients and methods: Combined surgery (CS) consisting of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), phacoemulsification, and implantation of a posterior chamber intraocular lens (PC IOL) in the capsular bag was performed on 26 patients. Another 26 had phacoemulsification with PC IOL insertion one to 84 months (mean 17.3) after PPV (sequential surgery, SS). Mean follow-up was 21.9 months after CS and 19.5 months after the cataract surgery in the SS group. The data were analyzed in a prospective, nonrandomized fashion.
Results: Visual acuity and refraction, astigmatism, accuracy of biometry, intraocular pressure, intraoperative, postoperative and long-term complications, and medical treatment were comparable in the two groups. Among the four uveitis patients in each group, transient fibrin formation was more frequent with CS (100%) than with SS (25%). The advantages of CS are that only one operation is needed, intraoperative working conditions are good, macular recovery is not masked by postvitrectomy cataract formation, and ideal lens centration is achievable. Potential disadvantages of CS include a longer operative time and increased technical demand, shrinkage of the anterior capsular opening, which may interfere with fundus view, and increased inflammation may be seen in patients with preexisting uveitis.
Conclusion: Combined surgery in selected patients is a safe and effective approach, and outcomes are comparable to sequential surgery.