Technique and outcome of combined phacoemulsification and trabeculectomy

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The efficacy of combined surgery for the treatment of concurrent glaucoma and cataract has long been under scrutiny. Comparisons between sequential surgery and combined procedures have shown mixed results, and current guidelines have been drawn for the indication of combined surgery. The evolution of combined triple surgery–cataract extraction, intraocular lens implantation, and filtering procedure–has evolved from planned extracapsular cataract extraction to small-incision phacoemulsification. The improvements of phacoemulsification over extracapsular surgery have naturally given rise to improvements in the results of combined procedures; good outcomes in both intraocular pressure control and visual acuity have been reported along with low complication rates. The techniques of combined phacoemulsification-trabeculectomy are under continual development as new sutureless incisions, filtration procedures, and antimetabolite use are studied. The results of numerous studies show that the combined procedure is an effective method of treatment of glaucoma and cataract. This review examines various recent aspects of the combined procedure, phacoemulsification-trabeculectomy, antimetabolites, results and complications, as well as current developments of new techniques. In addition, we review studies on combined cataract extraction and trabeculectomy, including older literature on planned extracapsular extraction plus trabeculectomy as well as newer studies on phacoemulsification-trabeculectomy.

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