Retained Lens Fragments after Phacoemulsification

Judy E. Kim, Harry W. Flynn, William E. Smiddy, Timothy G. Murray, Patrick E. Rubsamen, Janet L. Davis, Don H. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Purpose: The authors present the clinical features of patients with retained lens fragments after phacoemulsification and their outcome after pars plane vitrectomy. Methods: The authors performed a retrospective chart review of 62 patients who had surgical management of posteriorly dislocated lens fragments after phacoemulsification during the 3-year period from January 1990 to December 1992. Results: Eight of the 62 patients underwent vitrectomy on the same day as the cataract surgery. Of the remaining 54 patients examined in the outpatient clinic, initial clinical features included marked intraocular inflammation (87%), elevated intraocular pressure of 30 mmHg or higher (46%), and corneal edema (46%). Retinal detachment was present before vitrectomy in one patient and occurred after vitrectomy in two others. Initial visual acuity was 20/200 or worse in 68% of patients. After vitrectomy, final visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 68% of patients. Using the percentage of patients with 20/40 or better final visual acuity, there was no statistically significant difference in surgery performed within 7 days (70%), between 1 and 4 weeks (60%), and after 4 weeks (70%). Twenty (80%) of 25 patients with initial posterior chamber intraocular lenses (PC IOLs) and 16 (62%) of 26 patients with initial anterior chamber IOLs (AC IOLs) achieved 20/40 or better visual acuity. A visual acuity Outcome of 20/200 or worse occurred in all three patients with retinal detachment. Six of the eight patients who underwent vitrectomy on the same day as the cataract surgery achieved 20/30 or better visual acuity. Conclusions: The timing of vitrectomy did not influence visual acuity outcomes. Intraocular lenses inserted at the primary operation did not adversely affect the visual outcome. However, vitrectomy on the same day as cataract surgery generally yielded favorable visual acuity outcomes and eliminated the need for a second operation at a later date. In most patients with retained lens fragments, management with vitrectomy allowed good visual acuity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1827-1832
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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