Purpose: We report a novel technique for visualizing the posterior surface of the lens nucleus during phacoemulsification. Surgical Technique: Hydro-dissection was performed using a solution of 20 mg triamcinolone acetonide powder without preservatives mixed with 3 ml BSS-plus, and triamcinolone acetonide was clearly identifiable underneath the posterior surface of the lens nucleus. Using a phaco-tip, the nucleus was shaved to the level of the triamcinolone acetonide and could be easily divided. The remnant triamcinolone acetonide was aspirated as much as possible from the lens cortex with an infusion/aspiration tip. Subjects and Evaluation Technique: Twenty-eight eyes in 28 patients with cataracts were enrolled in this study. Triamcinolone acetonide-assisted phacoemulsification was performed in 13 eyes in 13 patients (triamcinolone acetonide-phacoemulsification group), and normal phacoemulsification was performed in 15 eyes in 15 patients (phacoemulsification group). Intraocular pressure was measured in all patients pre-operatively, 1 day after, and 1 week after surgery. Corneal endothelial cell density was measured pre-operatively and 1 month after surgery. The time of surgical phacoemulsification (surgical phaco time) was measured from the video of the surgery. Results: Surgery was successively performed in all eyes. Pre-operative and post-operative intraocular pressures and cell densities did not significantly differ between the two groups. Surgical phaco time was shorter in the triamcinolone acetonide-phacoemulsification group than in the phacoemulsification group (157.1 ± 51.7 s vs 225.3 ± 45.1 s; p = 0.006). Conclusion: The triamcinolone acetonide-assisted phacoemulsification procedure is safe and useful for visualizing the posterior surface of the lens nucleus and facilitates removal of the lens nucleus by phacoemulsification.
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