To examine the long-term refractive changes after stabilization of surgically induced changes (SICs) subsequent to cataract surgery.
Private hospital.
Case-control study.
Manifest refraction of 300 eyes of 300 patients that underwent phacoemulsification and 300 eyes of 300 age- and sex-matched patients without surgery was examined the day on which SICs stabilized (baseline) and ≥7 years postbaseline using an autorefractometer. Refraction was divided into 3 components: spherical power (M), vertical/horizontal astigmatism (J0), and oblique astigmatism (J45) using power vector analysis, and the components were compared between the 2 time-points and between groups.
In the surgery group, the mean M and J45 did not change significantly between baseline and ≥7 years postbaseline, but the J0 significantly decreased between the 2 time-points (P < .001), indicating an against-the-rule (ATR) shift. In the non-surgery group, the mean M significantly increased and J0 significantly decreased between the time-points (P < .001), whereas J45 did not change significantly. The mean change in M between the 2 time-points was significantly smaller in the surgery group (P < .001), whereas the changes in J0 and J45 did not differ significantly between the time-points.
Spherical power did not change and refractive astigmatism significantly changed toward ATR astigmatism during the more than 7-year follow-up after stabilization of SICs in pseudophakic eyes, while hyperopic and ATR shifts occurred in phakic eyes, and the astigmatic changes were comparable between pseudophakic and phakic eyes.

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