Uneventful Cataract Surgery Does Not Change Choroidal, Foveal Thicknesses

The research shows cataract removal had a temporary positive effect on CT, and no effect on FT.

Uneventful cataract surgery has a transient positive effect on choroidal thickness (CT) and no effect on foveal retinal thickness (FT), according to the results of a prospective comparative observation study published in The Surgeon.

The tissues most prone to damage during cataract surgery are the retina and choroid, according to the study’s authors. Previous research has shown conflicting results regarding the association between cataract surgery and CT or FT. In this study, researchers from the Gazi University School of Medicine, in Ankara, Turkey, examined changes in CT and FT after cataract surgery in standardized conditions. 

They included 20 eyes from 20 patients (with an age range of 55 to 75 years) who completed uneventful cataract surgery, and 20 eyes from 20 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. The investigators collected optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurements for 1 day, 1 week and 1 month following cataract surgery. They compared postoperative OCT measurements with the preoperative and control values. 

The researchers found that FT values remained similar throughout the follow-up period. They observed a statistically significant increase in CT at the macular (P =.003) and temporal 1 mm region (P =.04) at 1 week after surgery, but it dropped to nearly preoperative values at 1 month postoperatively. 

Limitations of this study included the relatively small sample size, and the inability to evaluate the influence of phacoemulsification on retinal and choroidal morphology among patients who were not treated with topical steroids. 

These results showed that uneventful cataract surgery, when performed by an experienced surgeon, minimally changes the CT in the early postoperative stage, and has no influence on FT, investigators report.


Akcam HT, Ozmen MC, Ceylanoglu KS, Yalcin NG, Aydin B. Changes in choroidal and foveal retinal thickness after cataract surgery: Our results. Surgeon. Published online August 20, 2021. doi:10.1016/j.surge.2021.07.005