JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Phacoemulsification in the vitreous cavity for retained nuclear lens fragments.

PURPOSE: To evaluate anatomic and functional results after surgery of retained lens fragments in the vitreous cavity after previous phacoemulsification.

METHODS: The authors studied retrospectively 18 patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for retained nuclear lens fragments. Patients having only cortical material in the vitreous cavity were excluded. In all cases the nucleus or nuclear fragments were removed after a complete vitrectomy using perfluorocarbon injection in the vitreous cavity, associated with phacoemulsification in the vitreous cavity. The authors used a conventional phaco probe devoid of the silicone sleeve. Time lapse between cataract surgery and vitrectomy varied between 0 and 24 days (mean 8.2 +/- 7.4). Follow-up was 33.9 +/- 20.6 months (range 4 to 53).

RESULTS: The mean final best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/45 (range 20/400 to 20/20). It was 20/40 or better in 33% of patients, reaching 40% when patients with previous macular disease were excluded. A total of 61% of patients reached a final BCVA ranging from 20/50 to 20/200. Retinal detachment occurred in one eye and topical medications were necessary to manage intraocular pressure in four cases.

CONCLUSIONS: PPV with intravitreous phacoemulsification is the technique of choice for dislocated nuclei or nuclear fragments in the vitreous cavity. (

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