Management in Health, Vol 22, No 3 (2018)

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Tatjana ZIU, Oriana ZIU, Sulejman ZHUGLI


BACKGROUND: Cataract is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment globally. Our aim was to compare the post-operative visual acuity of two surgical techniques among a group of patients diagnosed with cataract in Albania.

METHODS: A total of 1500 individuals diagnosed with cataract and being treated either with phacoemulsification (PHACO) or extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) during January 2011 – February 2013 in Elbasan region, in Albania, were included in the survey. Overall, 1200 patients (1460 eyes) were treated with PHACO and 300 patients (311 eyes) were treated with ECCE. Visual acuity was measured before intervention and at 1st, 4th and 12th week after intervention, using the LogMAR scale. Presence of astigmatism after surgery was evaluated as well.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences of visual acuity and chronic comorbidities before intervention by type of procedure the patients have been assigned to. At any time after intervention (after one, four and 12 weeks) higher proportions of PHACO patients than ECCE patients had a visual acuity corresponding to LogMAR score of 0.2 but with the passing of time the gap had a tendency to be narrowed: after one week 84.2% of PHACO patients and 70.1% of ECCE patients had a LogMAR score of 0.2 but at 12 weeks after intervention the corresponding proportions were 87.8% and 81.8%. At any time after intervention astigmatism was significantly more prevalent among ECCE than PHACO patients.

CONCLUSION: PHACO procedure is superior to ECCE regarding the achievement of visual acuity of 0.2 or better (LogMAR scale) and lower astigmatism rates at any time after intervention but after three months the differences narrow considerably. The decision about which procedure to apply for treating cataract lays on surgeon’s judgment and skills and should be guided by the potential to achieve maximal benefits for the patients. 


Keywords: Albania, cataract surgery, extracapsular cataract extraction, phacoemulsification, visual acuity

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Journal published by SNSPMS