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Lens implant selection with absence of capsular support

Dick, H. Burkhard MD; Augustin, Albert J. MD

Current Opinion in Opthalmology: February 2001 - Volume 12 - Issue 1 - p 47-57
Cataract surgery and lens implantation

If contact lens or spectacle correction is not viable, little debate exists that the secondary placement of an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is the method of choice in the absence of capsular support. The choice of IOL mainly depends on the preoperative status of the eye (eg, aphakia in children) and the selected location for the implant. Theoretically, there are several IOL implantation approaches in cases without capsular support: an angle-supported anterior chamber (AC) IOL, an iris-fixated ACIOL, an iris-sutured or iris-fixated posterior chamber (PC) IOL and a transsclerally sutured PCIOL. No consensus exists, however, on the indications as well as on the relative safety and efficacy of these different options. Implantation of modern ACIOLs, like the refined open-loop or iris-fixated claw (toric) ACIOLs, have regained popularity and provide a valuable alternative to sutured PCIOLs. However, in the absence of capsular support, the transsclerally sutured PCIOLs offer numerous advantages for certain eyes. Because of its anatomic location, the sutured PCIOL is more appropriate for eyes with compromised cornea, peripheral anterior synechiae, shallow anterior chamber, or glaucoma. Moreover, sutured PCIOLs are appropriate if the patient with aphakia is young or has a life expectancy of 10 years or more. Recent technological advances, including PCIOL with iris diaphragm for aniridia, toric ACIOLs, and small-incision surgery with foldable, transsclerally sutured IOLs, seem to further improve clinical outcomes.

Department of Ophthalmology, Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany. The authors have no financial interest in any product mentioned.

Correspondence to H. Burkhard Dick, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.