Dye-enhanced cataract surgery. Part 2: learning critical steps of phacoemulsification

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Jul;26(7):1060-5. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(00)00363-1.


Purpose: To use capsule dyes to enhance visualization to learn and perform various critical steps of the phacoemulsification procedure in a laboratory setting using postmortem human eyes.

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

Methods: Indocyanine green 0.5% (ICG) and trypan blue 0.1% were used to enhance visualization for performing critical steps of phacoemulsification in 8 human eyes obtained postmortem. All eyes were prepared according to the Miyake-Apple posterior video technique. After a continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (CCC) was made, the dyes were used to enhance visualization for hydrodissection, hydrodelineation, and various maneuvers for nuclear emulsification and cortical cleanup. In 8 eyes, all the aforementioned steps were performed without using dye (control group).

Results: Both dyes helped enhance visualization during the critical steps of phacoemulsification. The use of a dye solution instead of balanced salt solution (BSS) for hydrodissection/delineation helped localize the complete plane of cleavage between the capsule and cortex and the nucleus-epinucleus complex. During various nuclear sculpting maneuvers, the use of dye helped visualization of the position of the phaco tip and its relation to the posterior capsule. It also helped localize remaining cortical fibers, facilitating complete cleaning of the capsular bag.

Conclusions: Dye-enhanced cataract surgery was useful in learning various critical steps of phacoemulsification in a wet laboratory setting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Cataract / complications*
  • Coloring Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indocyanine Green* / administration & dosage
  • Injections
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology*
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / surgery
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Random Allocation
  • Trypan Blue* / administration & dosage
  • Video Recording


  • Coloring Agents
  • Trypan Blue
  • Indocyanine Green