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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 2103-2106

Decoding fluid droplet generation during phacoemulsification and pars plana procedures in the COVID-19 era—An experimental study

1 Raghudeep Eye Hospital, Gurukul Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Pink City Eye Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Samaresh Srivastava
Raghudeep Eye Hospital, Gurukul Road, Ahmedabad - 380 052, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1883_20

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate fluid droplet spray generation during phacoemulsification (PE), pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), and fragmatome lensectomy (FL) and assess factors affecting these. Methods: This is an experimental study. PE through 2.2 and 2.8 mm incisions was performed in six goat eyes and four simulator eyes using both continuous and interrupted ultrasound (U/S). PPV and FL were performed in three goat eyes. Generation of visible fluid droplet spray was analyzed from video recordings through the microscope camera and an external digital camera. Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) was applied over the incision site during PE and FL. Results: When PE was performed through both incision sizes, there was no visible fluid droplet spray if the phaco tip was centered in the incision, without sleeve compression. When there was phaco tip movement with the phaco sleeve sandwiched between the tip and the incision wall, there was visible fluid droplet spray generation. It was more difficult to induce fluid droplet spray with 2.8 mm incision, and spray was lesser with interrupted U/S. During PPV, there was no droplet spray. During FL, fluid droplet spray was only seen when U/S was delivered with the fragmatome tip close to the sclerotomy. HPMC impeded droplet spray. Conclusion: Fluid droplet generation during PE can be minimized to a large extent by keeping the phaco tip centered within the incision, avoiding sleeve compression. Smaller incision and continuous U/S were more prone to droplet generation. FL should be performed away from sclerotomy. HPMC over incision is recommended.

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