To investigate the efficacy and safety of a primary core vitrectomy technique for combined phacovitrectomy in eyes showing a poor red reflex because of dense vitreous hemorrhage before cataract surgery.Methods:
A total of 156 eyes from 156 patients, who underwent combined phacovitrectomy because of cataract and dense vitreous hemorrhage, and who were followed up for at least 6 months were included. The patients were divided into a primary phacoemulsification group (Group A, 80 eyes) who underwent phacoemulsification first followed by total vitrectomy and a primary vitrectomy group (Group B, 76 eyes) who underwent core vitrectomy first followed by cataract surgery and followed by total vitrectomy. A conventional 23-gauge combined phacovitrectomy was performed in all patients. The operation time, including the total continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis time and total cataract surgery time, and the incidence of surgery-related complications were evaluated in the two groups.Results:
Diabetic retinopathy was the most common cause for vitreous hemorrhage in both groups (Group A: 51 eyes; Group B: 39 eyes). The total continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis time (P = 0.001) and total cataract surgery time (P = 0.036) were significantly shorter in Group B than in Group A. Among the complications, radial tears occurred more frequently in Group A than Group B, but these differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.211). Pupil size reduction during cataract surgery was greater in Group B than in Group A (P = 0.034). There were no significant differences in posterior capsular ruptures or posterior capsular opacities between the two groups. Other postoperative complications were not observed in either group until 6 months after surgery.Conclusion:
Primary core vitrectomy combined with phacovitrectomy of patients who had dense vitreous hemorrhage helped to obtain a good red reflex and enabled surgeons to perform successful cataract surgery. In addition, primary core vitrectomy was an easy and safe technique, which reduced the surgery time and surgery-related complications. This surgical technique would, therefore, be helpful to vitreoretinal surgeons.