Surgical prevention of posterior capsule opacification. Part 2: Enhancement of cortical cleanup by focusing on hydrodissection

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Feb;26(2):188-97. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00354-5.


Purpose: To experimentally analyze the role and efficacy of hydrodissection in achieving maximal cortical cleanup.

Setting: Center for Research on Ocular Therapeutics and Biodevices, Storm Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

Methods: Phacoemulsification and irrigation/aspiration were performed in 10 pairs of human eyes (20 eyes) obtained postmortem. Ten eyes had previous hydrodissection and 10 eyes, no hydrodissection. The time (seconds) required for complete lens substance removal in each procedure was measured. In addition, a qualitative evaluation of difficulty of surgery was noted.

Results: Phacoemulsification required 28.6% less time in eyes with previous hydrodissection than in those without. Irrigation/aspiration time was reduced by 50.9% when hydrodissection was performed. The total time of each procedure required for complete evacuation of the capsular bag was reduced by an average of 37.7% in eyes with hydrodissection. Furthermore, qualitatively the procedure was far easier, less stressful, and caused less posterior capsule stress or rupture when copious hydrodissection was performed.

Conclusions: Hydrodissection enhances the general safety and efficiency of cortical cleanup, especially at 12 o'clock. Hydrodissection is the best available, practical, immediately implementable, and inexpensive means to help remove equatorial E-cells and thus alleviate the incidence of posterior capsule opacification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Capsulorhexis / methods*
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cataract / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / surgery*
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects*
  • Rupture / prevention & control