Objective: The purpose of the study is to determine the long-term visual outcomes in patients undergoing successful macular hole surgery.
Design: A consecutive series of eyes with an anatomically successful macular hole surgical result and at least 1 year postoperative follow-up information was identified and studied. Preoperative and postoperative visual acuities were measured in accordance with the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol.
Main outcome measures: Visual acuity, improvement of visual acuity, and rate of final visual greater than or equal to 20/40 were measured.
Results: The median visual acuity increased from 20/125 before surgery to 20/50 1 year after surgery (93 eyes) and to 20/30 at 36 months after surgery (68 eyes). The trend for improvement in visual acuity after 1 year after surgery was statistically significant. The postoperative visual acuity was greater than or equal to 20/40 in 15 (17%) eyes at 3 months and 53 (78%) at 36 months. Before surgery, 12 (13%) eyes were pseudophakic, and 77 (83%) were pseudophakic at 36 months. Median visual acuity in the fellow eye was 20/32 at baseline and 20/32 at 36 months. The visual acuity in the study eye was better than in the fellow eye in 36 (39%) patients at 36 months after surgery.
Conclusions: Visual acuity in patients after anatomically successful macular hole surgery continues to improve even beyond 1 year after surgery. Although substantial improvement occurs soon after cataract extraction, further improvement in visual acuity continues for 2 years thereafter.