This study aimed to compare the short-term changes in retinal and choroid thickness in diabetic patients after femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) and phacoemulsification (PE) surgery.
A total of 47 eyes in the PE group and 44 eyes in the FLACS group were included. All patients underwent measurement of central macular thickness (CMT) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) before and after surgery using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
The effective phaco time (EPT) in the FLACS group was significantly reduced. The BCVA differed significantly between the two groups at 1 week and 1 month after surgery. The CMT in both groups increased at 1 week after the operation. It did not return to the preoperative level until month 12 in the PE group. In the FLACS group, the CMT began to decrease at month 3 and recovered to the preoperative level at month 12. The SFCT of the two groups increased at week 1; it began to decrease at month 6 in the PE group but did not recover to the preoperative level until month 12. The SFCT in the FLACS group recovered to preoperative levels at month 6. In the PE group, baseline CMT values predicted CMT change at week 1 and months 1, 3 and 12 after surgery. In the FLACS group, baseline CMT predicted CMT changes at week 1, month 1 and month 3. In the FLACS group, EPT predicted SFCT change at month 3.
FLACS is safe and effective in patients with no fundus change or mild diabetic retinopathy. It has advantages in effectively reducing EPT, achieving good vision earlier and promoting faster recovery of the retinal and choroidal thickness. Preoperative CMT is a significant predictor of CMT changes in the early period after FLACS.