The contribution of phacoemulsification to combined cataract and glaucoma surgery

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The refinements of small incision cataract surgery by phacoemulsification with foldable intraocular lens implantation and the pharmacologic modulation of wound healing have brought new options for the combined procedure. Phacoemulsification combined with filtering surgery has the potential advantage of requiring a smaller conjunctival and scleral incision, which may reduce inflammation and bleb scarring with the possibility of enhanced bleb formation and long-term intraocular pressure control. The smaller phacoemulsification incision also helps to reduce postoperative astigmatism and improve visual results. Following combined phacoemulsification and filtering surgery, a larger area of undisturbed or virginal tissue in the conjunctiva and at the limbus is spared for further glaucoma surgeries or revision if the initial procedure fails. The risk of suprachoroidal hemorrhage during phacoemulsification in this susceptible group of patients is minimized by maintaining a closed chamber during the procedure.

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