Eyelid and scleral thermal injury following phacoemulsification in silicone oil: a case report

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Background: Phacoemulsification has been the mainstay method for extracapsular cataract extraction surgery in the anterior segment; for cases of posterior drop of lens fragments into the vitreous, a posterior segment phacoemulsification instrument (fragmatome; Alcon, Inc., Fort Worth, TX) can be employed to remove the dislocated lens materials. Studies have reported on thermal injury to the cornea during phacmoemulsification of the anterior segment. However, few studies have investigated thermal burn in the simultaneous sclera and eyelid induced by the fragmatome. Currently, there is no reports and lack of optimal strategy for the management of nucleus drop in a vitreous cavity filled with silicon oil. Case Presentation: We present the case of a 53-year-old male patient with a thermal burn wound on the upper eyelid and sclera following phacoemulsification for a dropped lens in a silicone oil-filled vitreous. We further designed an experiment to verify our hypothesis that thermal injury could be induced by the high temperature of the metal tip during phacoemulsification in silicone oil. In our experiment, during 420 s of continuous ultrasonic wave, the temperature of the fragmatome tip in the balanced salt solution (BSS) increased from 22.0 to 24.0 ºC, while the temperature of the fragmatome tip in the silicone oil group increased from 22.0 to 43.0 ºC. Conclusions: The temperature of the fragmatome tip increased significantly in silicone oil compared to BSS in the experiment. Thus, physicians should be aware of possible thermal complications when using fragmatome in eyes filled with silicone oil.

Original languageEnglish
Article number420
JournalBMC Ophthalmology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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