Purpose: To compare intraoperative and postoperative complications in eyes with and without pseudoexfoliation having cataract surgery by phacoemulsification.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, National Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Methods: Of 1152 consecutive phacoemulsification procedures, 164 cases with pseudoexfoliation (Group 1) and 916 cases without (Group 2) were followed for 4 months after cataract surgery in a prospective study. Of all cataract operations performed during that time, 96.2% were phacoemulsification procedures; 90.4 and 97.4% in eyes with and without pseudoexfoliation, respectively (P < .0005).
Results: The frequency of capsular/zonular tear or vitreous loss was 9.6 and 3.7% in Groups 1 and 2, respectively (P = .0002). A visual acuity of 0.5 or better was achieved in 86.5% of eyes in Group 1 and 92.4% in Group 2 (P = .02). There were no statistically significant between-group differences in the frequency of a postoperative inflammatory response 1 day (6.7 versus 4.4%), 1 week (2.4 versus 1.6%), or 4 months (1.8 versus 0.9%) postoperatively.
Conclusion: Phacoemulsification was safe in most eyes with pseudoexfoliation even though significantly more complications occurred intraoperatively in these eyes. The low frequency of an inflammatory response indicates that the presence of pseudoexfoliation does not significantly increase the risk of inflammation.