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February 1986

Misleading Predictions of Postoperative Visual Acuity

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(2):189-190. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050140043016

Our patients' joy with good vision after cataract surgery continually reinforces our professional pride as ophthalmologists. Each of us remembers those early triumphs in residency training when our postoperative patients broke into broad smiles on first seeing their new world through the magic of our surgery. On the other hand, there were the bitter disappointments when we discovered a macular lesion or retinal detachment behind the cataract, and we had to suddenly and unexpectedly shatter the patient's hopes for good vision. It was primarily to avoid these disappointments that methods and instruments were devised to predict postoperative vision, to measure the potential visual acuity of the retina behind cataracts. The proliferation in recent years, however, of such instruments1 as the electrophysiologic instruments, the Blue Field Entoptoscope, the clinical interferometers, and the Potential Acuity Meter (PAM) suggests that the avoidance of surgery is no longer the primary use for these

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