Indications and outcomes for the removal of intraocular lens implants in a retinal surgery practice

Nimesh A. Patel, Nikitha Gangasani, Nicolas A. Yannuzzi, Gustavo Melo, Harry W. Flynn, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To describe the reasons for and clinical outcomes of intraocular lens (IOL) removal, with or without exchange, in the setting of retina surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective, non-comparative, consecutive, interventional case series of patients undergoing IOL removal at an academic referral center performed by a single surgeon between 2002 and 2013. Data collected included baseline patient characteristics, visual acuity (VA), type of IOL, reason for IOL removal, and postoperative complications. RESULTS: The study cohort included 63 eyes with IOL removal. Of these, 51 (81%) were left aphakic. For cases of IOL opacification or dislocated IOL (56), the decision to remove was made for 35 (63%) during concurrent retinal surgery due to obstruction in visualization. Overall, the most common reason for removal of the IOL was IOL opacities in 42 eyes (67%), followed by nonspecific nature of opacities (n = 19; 45%), oil artifact (n = 17; 40%), opaque nonvascular membranes (n = 4; 10%), and fibrovascular proliferation (n = 2; 5%). Other causes for removal were IOL dislocation (n = 14; 22%), endophthalmitis (n = 7; 11%), and broken IOL haptic (n = 1; 2%). The composition of the 42 IOLs with opacification included 19 (45%) silicone, 14 (33%) unspecified, five (12%) polymethyl methacrylate, and four acrylic (10%). From the 17 IOLs removed due to oil opacification, 15 (83%) were silicone, and two (17%) were unspecified. Postoperative complications included recurrent retinal detachment (n = 13; 21%), hypotony (n = 8; 13%), phthisis bulbi (n = 8; 13%), corneal edema (n = 7; 11%), cystoid macular edema (n = 5; 8%), elevated intraocular pressure (n = 3; 5%), vitreous hemorrhage (n = 3; 5%), hyphema (1; 2%), anterior synechiae (1; 2%), and sub-retinal hemorrhage (1; 2%) The mean (SD) immediate, 3 months, and fnal best-corrected VA in logMAR were 2.18 (0.47), 1.85 (0.82), and 1.97 (0.85). CONCLUSION: The vitreoretinal surgeon must be prepared for IOL removal, especially if IOL opacification and dislocation compromise the view or capability to achieve primary retinal reattachment objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalOphthalmic Surgery Lasers and Imaging Retina
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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