Prosthetic iris implantation for congenital, traumatic, or functional iris deficiencies

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2001 Nov;27(11):1732-40. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(01)01124-5.


Purpose: To determine the efficacy and safety of surgical implantation of prosthetic iris devices in patients with anatomic or functional iris deficiencies.

Setting: Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Methods: Twenty-five patients were enrolled in an interventional prospective noncomparative case series. Twenty-eight eyes had prosthetic iris diaphragm implantation for traumatic iris defects, congenital aniridia or iris coloboma, herpetic iris atrophy, surgical iris loss, or ocular albinism. Prosthetic iris implantation was performed with phacoemulsification and intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in 20 eyes, secondary IOL implantation in 6 eyes, and IOL exchange in 1 eye. A single pseudophakic eye with disabling glare secondary to traumatic aniridia had secondary prosthetic iris implantation alone. The surgical ease of insertion, intraoperative and postoperative complications, postoperative anatomic results, visual acuity, and subjective glare reduction were evaluated.

Results: Patients were followed postoperatively for a mean of 10.2 months (range 1.4 to 25.7 months). All eyes achieved the desired anatomic result. Visual acuity was improved in 22 of 28 eyes (79%), unchanged in 5 eyes, and worsened by a single line in 1 eye. Patients were surveyed postoperatively to determine the change in glare disability. The severity of glare disability was subjectively improved in 23 of 24 patients (96%) who responded to the survey. Intraoperative complications included 3 fractured implants as well as an incomplete or torn capsulorhexis in 3 eyes. Postoperative complications included transient hypotony in 2 eyes, mild persistent inflammation in 1 eye, and macular edema followed by a retinal detachment in 1 eye with recent severe trauma.

Conclusions: Implantation of prosthetic iris devices improved postoperative outcomes by reducing glare disability and, in selected cases, by correcting aphakia. Although operating on traumatized, congenitally aniridic, or uveitic eyes presents special challenges, implantation of prosthetic iris devices appears to be a safe and effective method for reducing the ubiquitous glare in patients with iris deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aniridia / surgery*
  • Coloboma / surgery*
  • Eye Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Glare
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Iris / abnormalities
  • Iris / injuries
  • Iris / surgery*
  • Iris Diseases / surgery
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Safety
  • Visual Acuity