Little difference in postoperative flare between two phaco technologies on day 1

October 1, 2007

No substantial differences have been seen in the amount of postoperative flare present on day 1 following cataract surgery using either micro-coaxial phacoemulsification with a torsional handpiece or micropulse phacoemulsification.

Dr. Rose used a flare meter on postoperative day 1 to measure the inflammation that resulted from cataract surgery performed with the two systems. He conducted a prospective, randomized, single-masked study and presented the preliminary findings.

Thirty patients undergoing cataract extraction were included, and Dr. Rose performed all of the standard cataract surgeries. All patients had cataracts graded 3 to 4 on a scale of 1 to 4. Patients were randomly assigned to receive identical surgery using either phaco system. Dr. Rose measured flare preoperatively and postoperatively, as well as visual acuity, pachymetry, intraoperative pressure, and endothelial cell counts.

"However, there were some very provocative early differences that may be subject to different analysis," he said.

IOP values were substantially higher with the torsional handpiece, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. "For some reason, the torsional handpiece is causing higher postoperative pressures than those in patients treated with the micropulse system," he said.

"The 1-day postop central pachymetry values appear to be higher using the [micropulse phaco] system, but no long-term swelling persisted in either group; however, the IOP is greater with torsional technology. There was no significance in flare on postoperative day 1 between the two systems," Dr. Rose said.

This study is ongoing, and more data will be presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in November in New Orleans.