To evaluate the surgically induced changes in refraction (sphere and astigmatism) and higher order aberrations by corneal incision for one year.
University Hospital “Virgen de la Arrixaca”, Murcia, Spain.
Retrospective interventional case series.
Corneal power, astigmatism and higher order aberrations (HOA) were calculated from corneal topography measured in 27 eyes prior to surgery and at 2 weeks, 1, 2, 3 and 6 months and 1 year following cataract surgery with 3.2-mm corneal incision. At every stage, optical changes were calculated as the difference between pre- and post-surgery data (in each follow-up) using the formulas of obliquely crossed cylinders for the refraction and Zernikes coefficients for HOA.
At 2 weeks after surgery the mean corneal values of induced sphere, cylinder and the root mean square (RMS) of HOA were +0.54±0.27 D, -0.77±0.32 D and 0.15 microns respectively. These parameters decreased significantly (p-values between 0 and 0.01) at 3 months to +0.33±0.27 D sphere, -0.50±0.24 D cylinder and 0.10±0.05 microns HOA and were stable at the next follow-ups. Induced spherical equivalent was around zero at all visits. The changes in HOA were mainly due to trefoil aberration.
Linear corneal incisions do not change the spherical power but can induce significant values of astigmatism and trefoil aberration in the cornea. However, these changes revert fully or partially to preoperative values by the third month after surgery and remain stable with time.