Purpose: To establish whether small incision cataract surgery with phacoemulsification decreases the risk of acute suprachoroidal hemorrhage (ASCH) compared with traditional nucleus expression by extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE).
Setting: St. Erik Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Methods: A retrospective study was done on the incidence of ASCH in cataract surgery between July 1990 and July 1996. During this period, 37,565 cataract extractions (phacoemulsification and ECCE) were performed at St. Erik Eye Hospital, combined procedures excluded. The criteria for diagnosis were the suspicion of ASCH during surgery and a verified diagnosis via an expulsive hemorrhage into the wound (4 cases), postoperative ultrasonic examination (20 cases), or a choroidal mass on performing ophthalmoscopy together with a postoperative history alluding to the diagnosis (2 cases).
Results: Twenty-six eyes were identified with ASCH, including 7 during phacoemulsification and 19 during ECCE. The incidence of ASCH was 0.03% in the 23,213 phacoemulsification cases and 0.13% in the 14,352 ECCE cases. The difference was statistically significant (P = .0003; chi-square test).
Conclusion: Small incision surgery with phacoemulsification decreased the risk of ASCH in cataract surgery compared with the traditional nucleus expression technique.