Outcomes of resident-performed laser-assisted vs traditional phacoemulsification

Brock Hansen, Preston H. Blomquist, Peter Ririe, Severin Pouly, Chan Nguyen, W. Matthew Petroll, James P. McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare the effectiveness of femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) and conventional phacoemulsification cataract surgery (CPS) by resident surgeons. SETTING: Parkland Memorial Health and Hospital System, Dallas, Texas, USA. DESIGN: Prospective randomized study. METHODS: All surgeries to be performed by postgraduate year 3 and year 4 residents from October 2015 through June 2017 were eligible for inclusion. Patients were required to complete postoperative day 1, week 1, month 1, and month 3 visits. Specular microscopy was performed preoperatively and postoperatively. Surgeries were filmed, and each step was timed and compared. Surgeon and patient surveys were filled out postoperatively. RESULTS: Of the 135 eyes of 96 subjects enrolled in the study, 64 eyes received FLACS and 71 eyes received CPS. There was no significant difference in corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), either preoperatively or at the postoperative day 1, week 1, month 1, or month 3 visits (P = .469, .539, .701, .777, and .777, respectively). Cumulated dissipated energy and irrigation fluid usage were not different between FLACS and CPS (P = .521 and .368, respectively), nor was there a difference in the reduction of endothelial cell counts postoperatively (P = .881). Wound creation (P = .014), cortical cleanup (P = .009), and IOL implantation (P = .031) were faster in the CPS group. Survey results indicated that the overall patient experience was similar for FLACS and CPS. CONCLUSIONS: This first prospective randomized trial evaluating resident-performed FLACS shows that, in resident hands, FLACS provides similar results to CPS regarding visual acuity, endothelial cell loss, operative time, patient satisfaction, and surgical complication rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1273-1277
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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