Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and risks of primary posterior capsulorhexis.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Liège, Belgium.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of 319 patients with cataracts who had phacoemulsification or manual extracapsular cataract extraction with a simultaneous circular posterior capsulorhexis between August 1993 and April 1994. The number of intraoperative complications and the number of postoperative complications that could be related to the posterior capsule opening were looked at. Fluorescein angiography was performed in a random sample of patients.
Results: Twelve intraoperative complications consisted of 5 irregular tears, 4 vitreous prolapses into the posterior capsulorhexis, and 3 vitreous prolapses into the anterior chamber; 11 occurred in eyes with positive posterior pressure. Postoperative complications consisted of 3 vitreous prolapses into the pupil and 1 retinal detachment. Two of the 3 late vitreous prolapses occurred in eyes in which the posterior capsulorhexis was larger than the intraocular lens (IOL) optic. The retinal detachment occurred in an eye with a 25.79 mm axial length. Fluorescein angiography of 49 cases revealed 3 with cystoid macular edema.
Conclusions: Based on our results, we believe that primary posterior capsulorhexis can be a routine procedure during cataract surgery and IOL implantation in adults, except in cases of positive pressure. The diameter of the posterior capsulorhexis should be smaller than the diameter of the IOL optic.