OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of air bubble on the cornea at the end of the cataract surgery with phacoemulsification.
METHODS: This prospective and casecontrol study included 71 patients with air bubble injected into the anterior cham-ber at the end of the operation and 63 age-sex-matched control patients without air bubble. Endothelial cell density (ECD), coefficient of variation (CV), hexagonality rate (HEX), and central corneal thickness (CCT) measurements were taken using non-contact specular microscopy preoperatively and at 1-day, 1-week, and 1-month postoperatively.
RESULTS: No significant difference was determined between the groups preoperatively in respect of mean visual acuity, anterior chamber depth, ECD, CV, HEX, and CCT values (p>0.05). The intraoperative average ultrasound power, effective phaco time, and ultrasound time values were similar (p>0.05). The CCT value was lower in the study group than in the control group on post-operative day 1 (p=0.012), but similar at 1 week and 1 month (p=0.102, p=0.330, respectively). No significant difference was determined between the groups in mean visual acuity, anterior chamber reaction, ECD, CV, and HEX values at 1-day, 1-week, and 1-month postoperatively (p>0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Air bubble may be used as an alternative method to reduce corneal edema on the 1st post-operative day. According to the results, although air bubble has no detrimental effect, there is also seen to be no protective effect on the corneal endothelium.