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Suction posterior capsulorhexis: an audit of 15 years’ experience
  1. Charles E Hugkulstone
  1. Correspondence to Charles E Hugkulstone, Department of Ophthalmology, Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent DA14 6LT, UK; charles.hugkulstone{at}


Aims To audit the results of 15 years’ experience of suction posterior capsulorhexis (SPC) during phacoemulsification and compare the outcomes with a recently published multicentre audit of cataract surgery, the Cataract National Dataset (CND).

Methods Prospective cohort observational study.

Setting Ophthalmology department of a district general hospital.

Results Data collection ran from June 1998 to November 2013, and 866 eyes of 786 patients were included. The mean (SD) age was 70.7 (12.4) years with 62% women. Low levels of perioperative and postoperative complications were noted, and the visual outcomes at 2 weeks in this audit were significantly better than those of the CND, with 75.4% achieving a best-corrected vision of ≥6/6 and 87.3% ≥6/12, improving to 95.8% and 100%, respectively, for best-case analysis (p<0.001 for all comparisons). 99% achieved the same or a better postoperative visual acuity than preoperatively compared with 95% in the CND (p<0.001) and none lost two lines of Snellen acuity (versus 1.24%; p<0.001). Patients receiving one of the two designs of square-edged hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lenses used in this audit did not require later YAG laser treatment compared with 2.72% of those who had a polymethylmethacrylate intraocular lens (p<0.02). Biometry accuracy was within ±1.0 D of the predicted refraction in 89.3%.

Conclusions SPC, when performed by an experienced surgeon, appears to achieve better visual outcomes than the CND without causing harm to patients nor adversely affecting biometry accuracy. Use of a hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lens with SPC may avoid the need for subsequent YAG laser therapy.

  • Lens and zonules
  • Treatment Surgery

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