Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the outcome of early and late suture removal after the triple procedure (i.e., penetrating keratoplasty, cataract extraction, lens implant). Design and Participants: The refractive and keratometric results of 106 eyes undergoing the triple procedure were reviewed. The target postoperative refractive error was -1 diopter (D). Results: Average length of follow-up was 40.3 months. Twenty eyes had sutures removed early (<18 months after surgery), 39 had sutures removed late (≤18 months after surgery), and 47 had sutures still intact at last follow-up. A best spectacle-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better was achieved in 90% of eyes with sutures removed early, 82.1% with sutures removed late, and 70.2% with sutures in place. For all eyes, the mean spherical equivalent at last follow-up was -2.50 D, with 75% of eyes falling between -4 and +2 D. The mean final refractive error was -3.40 ± 3.53 D for eyes with sutures removed early and -1.79 ± 3.99 D for eyes with sutures removed late. Eyes with sutures remaining had a mean final refractive error of -0.33 ± 2.25 D. There was an overall decrease in refractive and keratometric astigmatism after both early and late suture removal with no significant difference between groups. However, there was a wide range of change with some eyes experiencing a decrease and others an increase in astigmatism. Mean postoperative K readings increased significantly for both groups after suture removal (final mean K, 47.00 D) but remained stable for eyes with sutures in. Conclusion: The authors data suggest that the final refractive error and net change in refractive and keratometric astigmatism after the triple procedure are not dependent on the timing of suture removal.
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