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Phacoemulsification learning curve

Poster Details

First Author: I.Szakats HUNGARY

Co Author(s):    M. Sebestyen              

Abstract Details


To analyse the learning curve of cataract surgery by phacoemulsification and to assess the outcomes of surgery and the incidence of complications.


: St. Pantaleon Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, Dunaujvaros, Hungary


We have retrospectively reviewed the charts of phacoemulsification cataract surgeries performed by one resident between January 2010 and March 2012. Outcomes measured included postoperative best corrected visual acuity 1 day, 1 week and 4 weeks after surgery, as well as intraoperative and postoperative complications.


The first 154 cases were analyzed. The patients were grouped in two groups, group one consisting of the first 77 patients and group two of the second 77 patients. Our patients’ mean best spectacle corrected visual acuity on the first postoperative day was 0.40±0.29, one week after surgery it was 0.79±0.25 and four weeks after surgery it was 0.84±0.23. Comparing visual acuity values between the two groups we found that one week after surgery the visual acuity values of the second group were significantly better. While comparing the visual acuity values within one group, in the first group significant difference could be observed between visual acuity values measured on the first and on the fourth postoperative week, but there was no difference in the second group. There was no significant difference, in the number of intraoperative complications between the two groups, but the severity of complications was different, posterior capsule injury with vitreous loss occurred only in the first group. The average of absolute phaco times was significantly higher in the first group.


The gradual acquisition of the surgical technique is supported by the fact that on the first postoperative week the visual acuity values were significantly better in the second group, that one week after surgery the visual acuity values improved more significantly in the second group, and that the absolute phaco times of the second group were significantly lower. Proper patient selection, thorough preparation and careful, controlled surgical technique can help us in obtaining good visual acuity outcomes and an acceptably low rate of complications even during the learning period of phacoemulsification. The proper analysis of the learning curve of beginning phaco surgeons can be very useful for those wishing to master the surgical technique and for their supervisors as well.

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