An Experimental Study Comparing Various Anterior Capsulectomy Techniques

Ehud I. Assia, David J. Apple*, Anne Barden, Julie C. Tsai, Victoria E. Castaneda, Judy S. Hoggatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radial tears at the margin of an anterior capsulectomy may be associated with the exit of at least one loop of an intraocular lens out of the capsular bag (“pea pod” effect) and subsequent decentration. Many ophthalmologists have gained a clinical impression that the anterior capsule is more likely to remain intact if the continuous circular capsulorhexis (CCC) technique is used. However, controlled comparison of the incidence of radial tears with the use of different capsulectomies under standardized conditions has not been performed, to date. In this study, we analyzed the incidence of radial tear formation in 40 human eyes that were obtained post mortem. These eyes were randomized to four technique groups: (1) “can opener,” (2) linear capsulotomy, (3) capsulopuncture, and (4) CCC. We demonstrated that the CCC technique is much less likely to cause or be associated with anterior capsular radial tears as opposed to the other three techniques. With the technique of nuclear expression used in this study, radial tears occurred in 100% of cases treated with the can opener, linear capsulotomy, and capsulopuncture techniques, whereas no tears occurred with the CCC technique. This study provides convincing evidence that the CCC is the best available anterior capsulectomy procedure to minimize the incidence of radial tears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1991
Externally publishedYes


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