EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.30, no.1, pp.104-111, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of variation in tunnel length of same-sized clear corneal phacoemulsification incisions on the generation of surgically induced astigmatism and corneal astigmatism. Methods: A total of 126 cataract patients treated in four study groups based on location and tunnel length of the clear corneal incisions (superior long, superior short, temporal long, temporal short) were reviewed. In the short tunnel groups, a 2.8 mm keratome was used with a motion parallel to the iris surface, while in the long tunnel groups, the same keratome was advanced in the corneal stroma until the mark on the keratome was reached. The surgically induced astigmatism and the corneal astigmatism were measured with corneal topography. The tunnel lengths were determined by anterior segment optical coherence tomography. Results: The tunnel lengths of the long tunnel groups were significantly longer than the short tunnel groups. The total and anterior corneal surgically induced astigmatism of the superior long group was significantly higher than the other groups. Posterior corneal surgically induced astigmatism was similar. The postoperative total and anterior corneal astigmatism values of the superior long group was significantly higher than the other groups. No difference was observed for mean change in corneal astigmatism between the groups. Conclusion: The tunnel length of a clear corneal incision is a significant determinant of surgically induced astigmatism for superior placed corneal incisions. Therefore, for superiorly positioned clear corneal incision, the incision should be rectangular with a shorter tunnel to keep the surgically induced astigmatism to a minimum. For squarer-shaped clear corneal incision, limbal-temporal incisions may be performed for astigmatic neutrality.