PURPOSE: To evaluate femtosecond laser-assisted and manual clear corneal incisions and their effect on surgically induced astigmatism (SIA) and corneal higher-order aberrations (HOAs). METHODS: In a prospective randomized study, conventional phacoemulsification with a 2.8-mm clear corneal incision using a disposable keratome was performed in 20 eyes of 20 patients (manual group), and femto-second laser-assisted cataract surgery with a 2.8-mm biplanar clear corneal tunnel created by a femtosecond laser (LenSx; Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Aliso Viejo, CA) was performed in 20 eyes of 20 patients (femtosecond laser group). Corneal topography readings and corneal wavefront aberrations (diameter: 9.0 mm) were obtained using a Scheimpflug camera (Pentacam HR; Oculus Optikgerate, Wetzlar, Germany) preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in SIA between the groups (femtosecond laser group: 0.47 ± 0.13 vs manual group: 0.41 ± 0.14; P = .218), but the axis deviation of the SIA axis from the previously planned axis was significantly smaller in the femtosecond laser group compared to the manual group (4.47° ± 2.59° vs 7.38° ± 4.72°, respectively; P = .048). Corneal HOAs increased significantly in both groups (femtosecond laser group: 0.13 ± 0.09 to 0.18 ± 0.12, P = .025; manual group: 0.13 ± 0.05 to 0.15 ± 0.05, P = .002), but preoperative and postoperative values did not differ significantly between them (P = .472 and .078, respectively). Lower-order and total corneal aberration values remained stable in both groups (P > .05). CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in SIA and induced HOAs between manual and femtosecond laser-created clear corneal incisions.
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