Purpose of review
Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed worldwide. Small pupils have been an eternal challenge for cataract surgeons; insufficient pupil dilation is associated with increased complication rates, including capsule rupture, vitreous loss, iris trauma or postoperative inflammation. The aim of the current review is to present the methods for pupil dilation and the risk factors for a small pupil in a cataract patient.
Risk factors for intraoperative small pupil include diabetes, intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, pseudoexfoliation syndrome, receiving glaucoma medications, having undergone previous ocular surgery and iris sphincter sclerosis from aging. There is a wide range of options to manage the small pupil, including pharmacological treatment, mechanical stretching, dilation with iris hooks or pupil expanders. We recommend a stepwise approach for intraoperative pupil dilation, from pharmacological mydriasis to pupil expanders.
The current article discusses risk factors for a small pupil and the methods for pupil dilation in a cataract patient. Every cataract surgeon needs to be ready to cope with a small pupil, both manifesting preoperatively and intraoperatively.