Patient satisfaction after modern day cataract surgery requires excellent surgical technique but increasingly demands superior refractive outcomes as well. In many cases, there exists an expectation from patients, as well as surgeons, to achieve emmetropia after cataract surgery. This is particularly true in patients electing premium intraocular lens (IOL) technology to correct astigmatism and presbyopia in order to minimize spectacle dependence. Despite continued advances in preoperative and intraoperative diagnostics, refractive planning, and surgical technology, residual refractive error remains a primary source of dissatisfaction after cataract surgery. The need to enhance refractive outcomes and treat residual astigmatic or spherical refractive errors postoperatively becomes paramount to meeting the expectations of patients in their surgical outcome. This article reviews the potential preoperative and intraoperative pitfalls that can be the source of refractive error, the various options to enhance refractive outcomes, and potential future technologies to limit residual refractive error after cataract surgery.

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PubMed