Irreversible silicone oil adhesion to silicone intraocular lenses. A clinicopathologic analysis

Ophthalmology. 1996 Oct;103(10):1555-61; discussion 1561-2. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(96)30463-6.


Purpose: To report a newly defined complication of foldable intraocular lenses (IOLs), namely silicone oil-silicone IOL interaction. This is a complication not generally seen by the implanting cataract surgeon but, rather, at a later stage in a patient's postoperative course, by a vitreoretinal surgeon.

Methods: Three clinical case histories, including two explanted silicone IOLs, were submitted for analysis. The submitted silicone lenses were photographed under water, and the nature of the silicone oil coating was documented.

Results: In each instance, the silicone coating was manifest as a thick coating with droplet formation on the lens surface that was tenaciously adherent and could not be dislodged by instruments or injection of viscoelastics.

Conclusion: The use of silicone IOLs in patients with current vitreoretinal disease or those who are at high risk for future vitreoretinal disease that may require silicone oil as part of the therapy should be reconsidered. The authors recommend that information regarding the existence and significance of this complication be printed on all silicone oil and silicone IOL packages and inserts (if not as a warning, at least as an informative comment regarding the existence of this condition). This is a rare but clinically significant complication that will affect the occasional patient treated with both of these modalities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Eye Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicone Elastomers / metabolism*
  • Silicone Oils / metabolism*
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology
  • Vitreous Body / pathology


  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Silicone Oils