Management of Suprachoroidal Hemorrhage during Phacoemulsification: A Comprehensive Review

Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Mar 15;59(3):583. doi: 10.3390/medicina59030583.


Suprachoroidal hemorrhage (SCH) is a rare and sight-threatening complication of various intraocular surgeries, including cataract surgery. Although the rate of SCH complicating cataract surgery has decreased in the era of phacoemulsification, most likely due to smaller self-sealing incisions and modern equipment, it remains a challenging complication to manage. The aim of this review is to summarize the current evidence of the pathophysiology and management of SCH complicating phaco surgery. A literature review was performed using the PubMed database searching for diagnosis, therapy, and management of SCH during phacoemulsification. The evidence available on the optimal management of this condition is low, and there is no consensus so far. An early diagnosis is thought to be essential to avoid progression to the devastating stage of expulsion of intraocular contents (expulsive hemorrhage). Sudden intraoperative anterior chamber shallowing, red reflex loss, and a significant increase in intraocular pressure are highly suspicious for this severe complication. A fundus examination and ocular ultrasound are crucial to confirm the diagnosis and, if it is confirmed, stabilize the globe immediately. The initial therapeutic approach includes aggressive topical and systemic medication focused on controlling ocular inflammation and intraocular pressure, whereas the timing and the indications of surgical intervention remain controversial.

Keywords: cataract surgery; expulsive hemorrhage; phacoemulsification; suprachoroidal hemorrhage; visual prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Cataract*
  • Choroid Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Choroid Hemorrhage* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Phacoemulsification* / adverse effects

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.