The initial complication rate of phacoemulsification in India

Alan L. Robin, Scott D. Smith, G. Natchiar, R. Ramakrishnan, M. Srinivasan, R. Raheem, Wendy Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. This study was designed to investigate the feasibility of teaching experienced surgeons to perform phacoemulsification in India, a cataract-endemic area. Complications occurring during surgery and the first postoperative day were documented and evaluated. Methods. During a 1-month period, at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India, the first 100 consecutive cataract operations performed by each of three experienced surgeons (a total of 300 cases), using phacoemulsification were prospectively evaluated. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with intraoperative and postoperative complications. Results. The mean age of patients was 57.4 ± 9.3 years. The median best corrected preoperative visual acuity was 20/80. Mean surgical and phacoemulsification times were 15.8 ± 3.7 minutes and 2.2 ± 1.5 minutes, respectively. Complications occurred in 65 (21.7%) eyes. The most common was a rent in the posterior capsule, occurring in 40 (13.3%) eyes. There were significant variations in complication rate and in surgical time among the surgeons. The risk of experiencing a complication decreased as the number of phacoemulsifications performed increased. An increased risk of complications was associated with worse preoperative visual acuity and increasing patient age. Conclusions. With each successive case, the chances of experiencing a complication decreased 1%. Acceptable results were obtained within 1 month of performing the first phacoemulsification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2331-2337
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 1997


  • Cataract
  • Complications
  • Lens
  • Phacoemulsification
  • Posterior capsule
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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