Purpose: To compare the efficacy and complication rate of two standard cataract extraction techniques with different incision lengths when combined with trabeculectomy.
Methods: 54 eyes after combined ECCE, posterior chamber lens implantation and trabeculectomy (ECCE-group) are compared with 49 eyes following phacoemulsification, trabeculectomy and implantation of a folded flexible posterior chamber lens (small-incision group). Minimum follow-up was 24 months.
Results: Glaucoma control was achieved in all eyes of both groups. There was a tendency towards a higher number of patients without therapy in the small-incision group (82% versus 65%, p = 0.07). Final mean IOP (14.2 +/- 3.0 mmHg versus 15.5 +/- 2.7 mmHg, p = 0.02) and mean therapy index (0.2 +/- 0.5 versus 0.4 +/- 0.6, p = 0.03) were significantly lower in the small-incision group. Postoperative complications such as severe fibrin effusion (41% versus 18%, p = 0.018), early postoperative IOP rises > 25 mmHg (18% versus 2%, p = 0.009), filtering bleb scarring (63% versus 8%, p < 0.0001) and the total number of complications (87% versus 63%, p = 0.006) were significantly higher in the ECCE-group.
Conclusion: With the decrease of the incision size necessary for the cataract extraction a reduction of postoperative complications and better functional results are achieved in combined cataract/glaucoma surgery.