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What is the optimal surgical management?.


John Mark S. de Leon

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The Medical City

Veteran's Memorial Medical Center

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Publication Information

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Philippine Journal of Ophthalmology
Publication Date
July-December 2006


OBJECTIVE: Since cataract and glaucoma often coexist, and there is no agreement as to their optimal management, a review of the surgical strategies for coexisting I cataract and glaucoma is necessary. The latest evidence-based findings from various studies are presented.

METHODS: A literature search of the latest full articles (up to September 2006) was conducted on the surgical management of coexisting cataract and glaucoma. The results of the 2001 Johns Hopkins milestone study were also included for analysis and comparison.

RESULTS: Evidence is strong that trabeculectomy is associated with increased risk of postoperative cataract. Though cataract surgery alone may be appropriate for some glaucoma patients, combined cataract and glaucoma surgery lower long-term intraocular pressure (IOP) more than cataract extraction alone. Use of intraoperative mitomycin-C is beneficial in combined surgery. Limbu and fornix-based conjunctival flaps are equally effective for lowering IOP combined surgery. Trabeculectomy alone lowers long-term IOP more tha combined extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) and trabeculectomy. Evidence is weak that combined surgery with phacoemulsification rather than ECCE results in lower long-term IOP, as does two-site compared to single-site combined surgery.

CONCLUSION: The literature does not point to an optimal strategy for controlling in patients with coexisting cataract and glaucoma needing surgery. There is a continued need for high-quality studies of longer duration and more information on the optic nerve and visual field.


Since cataract and glaucoma often coexist, and there is no agreement as to their optimal management, a review of the surgical strategies for coexisting cataract and glaucoma is necessary. The latest evidence-based findings from various studies are presented.


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