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Year : 1959  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 72-75

Cataract and retinal detachment

Eye Hospital, Sitapur, India

Date of Web Publication8-May-2008

Correspondence Address:
J M Pahwa
Eye Hospital, Sitapur
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How to cite this article:
Pahwa J M. Cataract and retinal detachment. Indian J Ophthalmol 1959;7:72-5

How to cite this URL:
Pahwa J M. Cataract and retinal detachment. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1959 [cited 2021 Jun 20];7:72-5. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1959/7/3/72/40728

Table 1

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Table 1

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The subject of detachment surgery presents many perplexing problems to even an experienced ophthalmologist because it has to be modified and plan­ned in each individual case to suit its merits.

Detachment of retina complicated by a cataract presents further difficult problems with a bad prognosis. This subject will be divided under follow­ing four heads:

1. Cataract in an eye which has been operated for retinal detachment.

2. Cataract in the other eye of the patient who has been operated for re­tinal detachment.

3. Retinal detachment with catar­act.

4. Retinal detachment where cata­ract has been removed or aphakic detachment.

  I. Cataract in an Eye Operated for Retinal Detachment Top

When cataract occurs in eyes where retinal detachment has been cured, surgical intervention is the only proper solution and this should be as light as possible. Though Arruga and Weve think that intra-capsular extraction if done carefully is much better and safer than extra-capsular extraction where subsequent needling, if required, will be more harmful, yet it is a routine in our hospital to do extra-capsular extraction in adults and linear extrac­tion in very young individuals. The extra-capsular extraction has the ad­vantage of not causing traction on the zonule and leaving the posterior cap­sule of the lens intact, thus frontal dis­placement of the vitreous or its hernia­tion are avoided.

In those cases of detachment not fully cured but with useful vision such as occurs in some cases of inferior de­tachment that have become stationary (or where combined diathermy and scleral resection operation has been done) the cataract may be extracted again by extra-capsular method.

In cases not cured by operation or where the operation was not under­taken and has a complicated cataract with poor perception of light, the ex­traction has to be for cosmetic pur­poses only and I think intra-capsular extraction should be the procedure of choice where no remnant of capsule will be left.

  2. Cataract in the Eye Opposite to one Operated for Retinal Detachment Top

Examination of the other eye every now and then should always be done in all cases of retinal detachment be­cause nearly 10-12% of the cases are bilateral and very many eyes can be saved by light diathermy or photo­cogulation of the degenerated areas and doubtful holes. In those cases where this has not been undertaken already, need a better care and Prof. Franceschetti advocates a prophylactic barrage usually in the upper two qua­drants 12-13 mm. from the limbus because he thinks that the site of the detachment and the tears are usually in the upper half. Moreover inferior detachment which is rarer carries a better prognosis. This should be done very carefully usually with 25-30 ma current and the electrode should be rapidly passed on the sclera in order to obtain hardly visible coagulation, achieving a slightly yellowish colour of the sclera without parchment like areas. Then after a month intra­capsular extraction without any injury to the vitreous can be safely under­taken. I prefer to use four bridal su­tures in all the recti muscles supported of course by artery-forceps so that the eye-ball is almost pulled out of the orbit with absolutely no pressure of the speculum which is completely avoided. With the advent of Alpha-Chymotrypsin, it is worth our while to use it in such cases. But if it is a question of the only eye, I still prefer an extra-capsular extraction pre­ceded by a. prophylactic diathermic barrage.

  3. Retinal Detachment with Cataract Top

A case of retinal detachment hav­ing lenticular changes but where exa­mination of the fundus under full dila­tion is possible, can be dealt with in the usual way and carries a good prog­nosis. While in other cases where de­tailed examination of the fundus is not possible, an idea about the limit of detachment may be formed from the grey or red reflex of the fundus or from the visual field and photopsiae specially those seen by the patient at the commencement of the detachment. These cases can be treated by the ope­ration of combined diathermy and scleral resection in one or two quadrants where tears are suspected to be present.

If the examination of the fundus is impossible then one will have to under­take surgery of cataract first (intra­capsular extraction which will allow a complete examination of the fundus and is free from any reaction or irido­cyclitis) followed after a month by the usual surgery for detachment. The patient of course during this time should take rest, use stenopic glasses and locally hydro-cortisone drops. In order not to miss detachment in cataract cases and to avoid disappoint­ment both to the surgeon and the patient, testing for projection of light by weak coloured red and green lights must not be forgotten as a routine be­fore the operation. Moreover if the history is available prognosis can be foretold by ERG examination.

  4. Aphakic Detachments Top

Detachment occurs quite frequently in aphakic eyes (Shapland 9'7% Weve 8%). A great majority of eyes are usually myopic. According to Arruga 1-2% of non-myopic aphakic eyes suffer detachment whereas those that are myopic suffer detachment in io-r5% of the cases. When the de­tachment occurs after six months from the date of operation, it is very pro­bable that it has no relation to the operation in itself although it must be recognised that the greater mobility and frontal displacement of the vitre­ous are factors that favour the detach­ment.

It has been a source of controversy whether detachment is more common after an intra-capsular extraction. I think the percentage of cases does not differ much as greater number of cases seen these days after intra-capsular is due to the fact that it is a routine to do intra-capsular operation with many of the surgeons. It is rather the com­plication of loss of vitreous which is likely to occur more after total extrac­tion that really matters and favours detachments. On the other hand if for any chance a subsequent needling is required after extra-capsular extraction it is more harmful, as said before, because of either actual tearing of the retina by too strenuous manipulation at the time of operation or by prolapse of vitreous in the anterior chamber and bands of vitreous extending back­wards.

It is without any doubt that detach­ments are more common after repeated needlings or discissions of congenital cataract etc., (Shapland 10'7%, after an average interval of 24'6 years) a fact which contraindicates Fukala's operation and has also led to a modi­fied operation for congenital cataract by Derrick Vail.

These aphakic detachments are well known for vitreous changes and for the most peripheral situations of the holes and tears. Moreover in these cases improvement with bed rest is all that can be obtained possibly. But before this examination of the fundus both by direct and indirect method is important. Binocular indirect stereo­scopic ophthalmoscope with scleral depressor is an important supplement because it permits examination of the periphery and even where the media of the eye are somewhat hazy. A de­finite and thorough plan, must be fol­lowed during the search for tears. One should not be satisfied with one hole as it is not infrequent to have more than one hole in different quadrants. During operation the holes must be localised by the method of transillu­mination and each application of dia­thermy can be checked by ophthal­moscopic examination because this direct biological control is better than milliamperemeter readings.

As most of the cases are accom­panied by vitreous retraction with mul­tiple folds, and sometimes only doubt­ful holes or degenerated areas, a com­bined diathermy with lamellar scleral resection is the procedure of choice. In still more complicated and old cases I do an operation of combined dia­thermy, scleral buckling and reefing. In this operation there is production of a protuberance or buckle on the inner side of the sclera in one half in addition to the reduction of the volume of the whole eyeball achieved by a lamellar scleral resection and reefing in the two other quadrants. The buckle should be so placed that the retinal holes (if small) be on the crest or anterior slope of the buckle. If the hole is large or there are many holes lying at different distances behind the oraserrata then the buckle must be placed posterior to the most posterior break. Embedding of a polyethyline tube in the sclera creates a higher and more durable buckle.

In still old cases or cases where one or more operations have failed, Schaffer (1954) has developed a method of vitreous implantation by which 1.5cc of sterile vitreous is injected into the Vitreous cavity, thus acting not only mechanically by pushing the retina against the choroid but by opposing the traction of vitreous bands and hav­ing some flattening effect on the reti­nal folds.

In this group, I have dealt with fol­lowing 16 aphakic cases, out of a total of 84 cases admitted in the Sitapur Eye Hospital over a period of 5 years. Out of these 13 were males and 3 females, Three cases had bilateral de­tachment but only one of them was operated on both eyes, making a total of 17 eyes in 16 cases. Myopia was present in only 6 of these cases.

Type of the Operation.

Extra-capsular extraction- 4 eyes.

Intra-capsular extraction-13 eyes.

(6 cases were operated elsewhere.)

Interval between retinal detachment and cataract operation was recorded and found to be more than 8 months in 12 eyes, while in two cases it was only 25 days and 7 weeks, respective­ly. In one case there was the maxi­mum interval of II years. One case of Juvenile cataract was seen to occur after nearly 7 years where 3 needlings had been performed before.

Holes Found:

Definite holes = 7 eyes.

Doubtful holes and degenerated areas = 4 eyes.

No holes = 6 eyes.

In all these cases a second operation where required was refused.

From the results and the type of cases tackled (almost total or complete detachment with multiple folds and vitreous changes etc.), the results of 7 cured (41.2%) and 3 Partial success (17.7%) being maintained for nearly 8 months to 22 years the results are not discouraging. The operation of combined diathermy and scleral resec­tion in ordinary cases and in very old complicated cases which we often meet in our country, the operation of com­bined diathermy, scleral buckling and reefing is the procedure of choice. Air injection in the vitreous which has limited value in aphakic cases because it comes into the anterior chamber thus being of no consequence, was used only in 3 cases.[20]

  References Top

Arruga H., (1959), XXXV, Congress de la Soc. Oftalm. Hisp.-Amer.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chamlin M., (1956), Amer. J. Ophthal. 41, 633.  Back to cited text no. 2
Custodis, (1953), Ber. Deutsch. Ophthal, Gesel, 58, 102-105.  Back to cited text no. 3
Custodis, (1956), Monats. Augenh. 129, 476.   Back to cited text no. 4
Della Porta, (1956), Amer. J. Ophthal. 42, 189.  Back to cited text no. 5
Della Porta, (1957) Amer. J. Ophthal. 44, 776.  Back to cited text no. 6
Derick Vail, (1958), 2nd Curso inter­national De oftalmologia Vol. i Barcelona Page 222.   Back to cited text no. 7
Everett W. G., (1955) A.N.A. Arch of Ophth, 53, 865.   Back to cited text no. 8
Francischetti A., (1955), Amer. J.Ophthal. 39, 189.   Back to cited text no. 9
Pahwa J. M., (1959), Trans. All ­India Ophthal. Soc. Trivandrum.   Back to cited text no. 10
Pierce L. H., (1958), 2nd Interna­tional course of Ophthal. Barraquer's Inst. Barcelona.   Back to cited text no. 11
Schaffer D. L., (1957), Trans. Amer.Acad. Ophthal. 61, 194,   Back to cited text no. 12
Schaffer D. L., (1958), A.M.A. Archives of Ophth. 60, 255.   Back to cited text no. 13
Schaffer D. L., (1959), AMA Archi­ves of Ophth. 61, 233.   Back to cited text no. 14
Schepens C. L., (1952), Trans. Amer. Acad. Ophthal. 56, 398.   Back to cited text no. 15
Schepens C. L., (1955), Trans. Amer. Aced. Ophthal. 56, 398.   Back to cited text no. 16
Schepens C. L., (1954), A.M.A. Arch. of Ophthal. 54, 143.   Back to cited text no. 17
Schepens C. L., Okamara I, D., et al (1957), A.M.A. Archives of Ophthal. 58. 797.   Back to cited text no. 18
Schepens C. L., Okamara I. D., et al. (1958), A.M.A. Arch. of Ophthal. 60, 84.   Back to cited text no. 19
Weve J. M., (1952), Irish Med. J. (reprint).  Back to cited text no. 20


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