Intraocular metallic-appearing foreign bodies after phacoemulsification

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1996 Nov;22(9):1247-50. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(96)80078-2.


Intraocular metallic-appearing foreign bodies in the anterior segment were seen in six eyes after cataract extraction by two-handed phacoemulsification. These fragments produced no symptoms and had no clinically significant effect on visual function. Similar-appearing foreign bodies were experimentally produced by applying ultrasound power with a phacoemulsification handpiece to the surface of a cyclodialysis spatula in vitro. Microscopic examination of the phaco handpiece tip and cyclodialysis spatulas revealed numerous surface irregularities, suggesting a possible source of these fragments. These results suggest that instrument touch during phacoemulsification may be the cause of the fragments. Long-term follow-up of these patients is required to determine the overall effect of the fragments.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Eye Segment / pathology*
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / etiology*
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Metals*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects*
  • Phacoemulsification / instrumentation
  • Visual Acuity


  • Metals