Giant retinal tear after cataract extraction with dislocated lens fragments

P. E. Rubsamen, T. M. Aaberg, W. E. Smiddy, H. W. Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To review a series of patients who developed giant retinal tears following cataract surgery complicated by posteriorly dislocated crystaline lens fragments. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patient who developed giant retinal tears after dislocation of lens fragments at the time of cataract surgery. In each case, during the cataract surgery, retrieval of the lens fragments was attempted using deep limbal based vitrectomy or copious irrigation. A resultant giant retinal tear occured in each case and was managed with standard vitreoretinal surgical techniques using adjunctive perfluorocarbon liquids. Results: Five patients were identified. All patients were male in their 8th decade. Four cases occured after phacoemulsification, and one occured after ECCE. The time to referal ranged from 1 to 24 days (mean = 11 days). The size of the giant tears ranged from 90 to 360 degrees (mean = 186 degrees), and all involved the inferior retina. Dislocated lens fragments were found at the time of vitrectomy in 4 of 5 cases. Three of 5 were managed with C3F8 gas, and 2 with silicone oil. Four of 5 cases were successfully attached. The fifth case developed an inoperable retinal detachment with PVR after 3 operations. Three of five cases had ≥ 20/200 visual acuity. Conclusions: In patients with dislocated lens fragments during cataract extraction, aggressive attempts at retreival from a limbal based approach may result in serious retinal complications including a giant retinal tear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S414
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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