Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Nov;26(11):1631-7.

Outcomes of cataract surgery in monocular patients.

Author information

Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, California, USA.



To determine the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) outcomes and surgical complications in a consecutive series of functionally monocular patients who had phacoemulsification and intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.


University-based referral practice, Los Angeles, California, USA.


The medical records of 93 monocular patients who had phacoemulsification and IOL implantation between December 1991 and February 1999 were reviewed. Patients were considered to be monocular if Snellen BCVA in their fellow eye (the eye not having surgery) was worse than 20/200. Recorded were demographic information, anesthesia method, additional surgery, IOL model, preoperative and postoperative BCVA, reason for poor vision in the unoperated eye, co-morbidities in the operated eye, intraoperative and postoperative complications, length of follow-up, and postoperative procedures.


Mean patient age was 72 years and mean follow-up, 6 months. Thirteen patients (14%) were monocular from complications of surgery. Eighty patients (86%) were monocular because of medical eye conditions. Ocular co-morbidities were present in 75% of eyes having surgery. Preoperative median BCVA was 20/60. Median BCVA was 20/30 by the final scheduled follow-up examination and 20/25 by the final follow-up examination. Thirty-seven percent of eyes were correctable to 20/20 or better, and 67% were correctable to 20/40 or better. Two eyes lost BCVA by the final scheduled postoperative examination, and 3 eyes lost BCVA by the final follow-up examination. Final BCVA of worse than 20/40 was always related to preexisting macular or optic-nerve pathology. There were 16 intraoperative or early postoperative complications. The most common (3 eyes) was posterior capsule plaque that could not be removed by capsule polishing. Twenty eyes (22%) had subsequent surgical procedures, the most common being laser posterior capsulotomy. No patient who was monocular from surgical complications had similar problems with second-eye cataract surgery.


Best corrected visual acuity, the standard measure of efficacy in cataract surgery, improved a median of 3 to 4 Snellen lines. The safety of the procedure, as evidenced by the small number of patients who lost BCVA or experienced surgical complications, was satisfactory. Functionally monocular patients are likely to have ocular co-morbidities, some of which may limit the final visual outcome of surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center